Aug 21, 2019

Trump: Russia should rejoin the G7

President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that Russia should be readmitted to the G7, saying "it should be the G8."

Why it matters: Russia was disinvited in 2014 from attending the annual meeting of countries with the leading advanced economies for annexing Crimea, and Trump's comments are likely to put him further at odds with U.S. allies ahead of his attending the G7 summit, in Biarritz, France, this week.

The big picture: Trump also called for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 summit last year. He did not attach any conditions to his proposal this time, which the New York Times notes could signal that the international community has moved on from Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he was opposed to readmitting Russia into the G7 unless the Ukraine dispute ended, per Politico, which reported Putin stressed that his country was still in the G20.
"How can I come back into an organization that doesn’t exist? It’s the G7, not the G8."
— Putin at press conference in France

Go deeper: Trump National Doral is in the mix to host the G7 in 2020

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Trump says Russia is out of G7 because "Putin outsmarted Obama"

Trump and Putin at the G20. Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump claimed today that Russian President Vladimir Putin "outsmarted" President Obama when he annexed Crimea in 2014 and that Russia was expelled from the G8 because Obama was upset at having been outmaneuvered.

Why it matters: Trump wants Russia to be allowed to rejoin the G7 club, and he has repeatedly declined to blame Putin personally for the incursions into Ukraine that united the other G8 members against him. Trump said Putin had been "a good member of the G8" and that the world is better off with Russia "inside rather than outside."

Go deeper: Highlights from Trump-Macron press conference.

Keep ReadingArrowAug 26, 2019

Russia denies U.S. senators visas ahead of congressional visit

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a statement Tuesday Russia had refused to grant him a visa to visit the country as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation.

Why it matters: Murphy's statement comes a day after fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Russia had refused to grant him a visa. President Trump has been trying to press G7 members to let Russia rejoin the group, after it was disinvited in 2014 from attending the summit for annexing Crimea.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 28, 2019

In "rare agreement," Russia and Ukraine swap prisoners

Ukrainian filmmaker and activist Oleg Sentsov chats with reporters after being released from Russia on Sept. 7. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

After weeks of negotiations, Russia and Ukraine exchanged 35 prisoners each on Saturday in what could be the "first step toward easing tensions between Moscow and Kiev," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Tensions between the 2 former Soviet countries have been high since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, per the WSJ. This "rare agreement" could lead to further negotiations, but some caution that the process will be lengthy and complicated.

Go deeperArrowSep 7, 2019