Italian prime minister backs Trump’s calls for Russia to be readmitted to G-7
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte echoed President Trump’s calls for Russia to be reinstated into the Group of Seven (G-7) on Friday, breaking with the European Union’s stance on the issue.
Conte, who assumed office at the beginning of the month, took to Twitter on Friday to voice his agreement with Trump’s position.
“Russia should return to the G-8. It is in everyone’s interest,” he wrote.
— GiuseppeConte (@GiuseppeConteIT) June 8, 2018
Trump called for Russia to be allowed to rejoin the G-7 on Friday before departing the White House to attend the G-7 meeting in Canada.
“You know, whether you like it or not — and it may not be politically correct — but we have a world to run,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. “And in the G-7, which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in. Because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
On Saturday, Trump doubled down on his comments, speaking at a press conference from the G-7 summit.
“Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in,” Trump told reporters.
“I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russia, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries in the G-7,” he added. “I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking to have peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.”
Russia was pushed out of the G-8 by the other member nations in 2014 in response to Russia’s invasion and later annexation of Crimea.
Other G-7 countries have not expressed support for having Russia rejoin the group.
Earlier this week, Conte said in his first speech to the Italian parliament that he is committed to NATO but wants to “promote revising sanctions, starting with those that demean Russia’s civil society.”
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