Trump walks tightrope on gun control
Trump says it's 'certainly possible' Putin will be invited to next year's G-7 summit
President Trump on Sunday said that it was "certainly possible" he would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year's Group of Seven (G-7) summit in the United States.
The president made the comments ahead of a meeting with United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson during this weekends' G-7 summit in Biarritz, France. Asked about the prospect of inviting Putin to next year's meeting of industrial powers, Trump said that the idea had been discussed.
"We did discuss it. We had a very good discussion on Russia and President Putin, and a lively discussion, but, really, a good one," he said. " And it's certainly possible. It's certainly possible. We'll see."
Johnson added that the discussion was "lively."
Russia was removed from what was then the G-8 after its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
Trump has repeatedly suggested that Russia should be reinstated to the group. He said in 2018 that the G-7 would be more effective with Russia at the "negotiating table." He revived the idea just days before traveling to France, saying that it is "much more appropriate to have Russia in."
"We talk about Russia because I've been to numerous G-7 meetings," Trump said last week during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. "I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in. So, I could certainly see it being the G-8 again. And if somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably."
The European Union has voiced strong opposition to the suggestion. Donald Tusk, the head of the European Union's council, said Saturday that "under no condition" could G-7 nations allow Russia to return.
"One year ago, in Canada, President Trump suggested reinviting Russia to G7, stating openly that Crimea's annexation by Russia was partially justified. And that we should accept this fact," Tusk said, according to Reuters.
"Under no condition can we agree with this logic."
French President Emmanuel Macron, the host of this year's summit, has also said that he does not want Russia reinstated without conditions.
Bloomberg News noted that Putin has said he would consider attending next year's G-7 Summit were he to receive an invite.
Many nations have attended the G-7 without being formal members of the group. Spain, Australia, India and Chile are guests of the summit this year.