President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he is open to inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year’s Group of Seven (G-7) summit, The Hill reports.
Russia was removed from the international intergovernmental economic organization in 2014 after its unlawful annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and other members have long objected to inviting the country back into the international body.
President Trump, however, appears to be open to the possibility. Asked about the prospect of inviting Putin to next year’s G-7 summit, the president revealed that he had discussed the idea with other leaders.
“We did discuss it. We had a very good discussion on Russia and President Putin, and a lively discussion, but, really, a good one,” Trump said, adding that it is “certainly possible” he invites Putin.
“And it’s certainly possible. It’s certainly possible. We’ll see,” the commander-in-chief said.
This is not the first time President Trump — who has been accused of conspiring with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election — has suggested that it would be good to have Russia back in the G-7.
During an Oval Office press briefing last week, Trump argued that it would be “appropriate” to have Russia in the group, suggesting that he would support such an initiative. He said that he “would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.”
The European Union has strongly objected to the president’s suggestion. Following Trump’s comments, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Union’s council, said that “under no condition” would the intergovernmental body allow Russia and Vladimir Putin to return.
“One year ago, in Canada, President Trump suggested reinviting Russia to G-7, stating openly that Crimea’s annexation by Russia was partially justified. And that we should accept this fact. Under no condition can we agree with this logic.”
President of France Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting this year’s summit, also expressed strong opposition to Russia re-joining the G-7.
Putin has signaled interest in attending next year’s meeting, however, saying that he would consider attending it were he to receive an invitation.
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In a series of Twitter messages posted on Sunday, Trump slammed the American media for reporting that relations with other G-7 members were tense, suggesting that the the press is purposely sabotaging him. The president said that the media is also trying to crash the American economy in order to help a Democrat win in 2020, and defended his economy as being “the talk of the world.”
However, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, experts say that the United States economy is nearing recession, with the yield curve inverting, the manufacturing sector shrinking, and Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods causing chaos in the markets.