EU Believes Inviting Russia to Rejoin G7 Would Be Sign of Weakness

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The European Union is against inviting Russia to the G7 format and thus resuming the G8 format until the country addresses the issues that led to its exclusion back in 2014, a high-ranking source in EU institutions told reporters on Thursday in Brussels.

EU Believes Inviting Russia to Rejoin G7 Would Be Sign of Weakness

According to the source, the European Union believes that since Russia has not resolved the issues due to which it was excluded from the format, inviting it to G7 meetings would be counterproductive and would also be a sign of weakness.

"Reasons for Russian exclusion in 2014 are still valid today as they were valid 5 years ago. So the EU will be against the idea of re-inviting Russia to G7... There [it] has been clearly stated that unconditional re-invitation of Russia to the G7 meetings would be counterproductive and a sign of weakness," the source said, Sputnik reported.

The source stressed that the bloc maintained a dialogue with Russia through G20 format, while G7 should unite democratic nations sharing common values.

"The G7 should continue as a community of democracies respecting the rule of law and common values," the source stressed.

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of the G7 summit in France's Biarritz, that he would support Russia's possible return to the format. Trump said he had agreed on French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to invite Russia to the G7 summit in 2020.

The G8 format was established in 1998 but was reduced to G7 after Russia was expelled in 2014 due to being accused of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs in the wake of Crimea's decision to rejoin Russia and the eruption of the military conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Russia has refuted the accusations, stressing that Crimea rejoined it following a legitimate referendum.

The G7 is now composed of the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada. Its annual summit will be held in Biarritz from August 24-26.


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