Senate

Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don’t invite Putin to G-7

Greg Nash

A group of top Senate Democrats are warning President Trump against inviting Russia to rejoin the Group of Seven (G-7), after the president opened the door to allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to take part in next year’s meeting. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees respectively, sent a letter to Trump citing “strong opposition” to allowing Putin to join the G-7.

“Under no circumstances should President Putin be invited to participate in the G7 until the Russian government undertakes demonstrable actions to show its willingness to behave responsibly both domestically and abroad,” they wrote. 

{mosads}”Readmitting Putin’s Russia to the G7 would be contrary to our values and a clear abdication of the United States’ responsibilities as the world’s leading democracy,” the senators added.

The letter comes after Trump said on Monday that he would “certainly” invite Putin to join next year’s G-7 meeting. The United States will serve as host of next year’s annual gathering of world leaders, giving Trump the ability to invite heads of state who are not part of the G-7.

Russia was expelled from the then-G-8 in 2014 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, an incident cited by the senators in their letter to Trump. 

“If President Putin’s regime is willing to directly and flagrantly violate these international agreements and disregard the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Russian government should not be trusted with a leadership position on the world stage,” the Democratic senators wrote.

Trump has previously floated allowing Russia back into the group’s meetings, saying ahead of last year’s G-7 summit that “they should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

He added on Monday that he thought it would be better for Russia to be included because it would be “better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent.”

The pushback over potentially inviting Putin to attend next year’s meeting comes as Russia is tangling with senators. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Russia had refused to give them a visa to visit the country as part of a congressional delegation. 

Tags Charles Schumer Chris Murphy Donald Trump Jack Reed Mark Warner Robert Menendez Ron Johnson Vladimir Putin
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