Germany rejects Trump's call to allow Russia back into G7

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Germany has rejected US President Donald Trump's proposal to allow Russia back into the G7, Germany's top diplomat said in an interview published Monday.

Trump, last month called to expand the G7, whose members are the world’s most advanced economies, to once again include Russia. Moscow was expelled in 2014 following its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

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But German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Rheinische Post that he did not see any chance for allowing Russia back into the G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine.

Russia itself could make the biggest contribution to becoming part of the G7 format again by contributing to a peaceful solution in the Ukraine conflict, Maas said.

Russia is still part of the G20, a broader grouping including other emerging-market economies.

"G7 and G20 are two sensibly coordinated formats. We don't need G11 or G12 anymore," Maas said in reference to Trump's proposal to invite not only Russia, but other countries to G7 meetings.

Maas described the relationship with Russia as "currently difficult" in many areas. "But we also know that we need Russia to solve conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. That will not work against Russia, but only with Russia."

Germany, which took over the rotating six-month EU presidency on July 1, has taken on a mediating role in the conflict in Libya as well as in Ukraine.

"But Russia also has to make its contribution, which is very slow in Ukraine," Maas said.

Other G7 nations, including Canada and France, have also objected to Russia’s return while some, such as Japan, have not yet weighed in.

A G7 meeting that was to be held in the US in late June was postponed by Trump and he proposed to expand the list of countries invited to include Russia, Australia, South Korea and India.

Read more:

US President Trump postpones G7 summit, seeks expansion of 'outdated' group

EU balks at Russia returning to G7 after Trump summit invite

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