US President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he will “certainly” invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the 2020 Summit of the Group of Seven, which used to be Group of Eight before Russia got excluded, media reports say.
“I think it would be better to have Russia inside the tent than outside the tent,” Trump said.
Russia was excluded from the Group in 2014 due to events in Crimea, which Trump called “not a good thing.”
“President Obama was pure and simply outsmarted. They took Crimea during his term,” Trump said.
The Summit of the G7 in 2020 will take place in the United States, which means that Trump as a host of the event can invite any special guests he wants. When asked whether he would invite President Putin, Trump said: “I would certainly invite him.”
“Whether or not he could come, psychologically, I think that’s a tough thing for him to do,” he added, noting that the Russian president is a “proud person.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia “is not going to push its participation on anyone,” but it would not reject to cooperate with the world leaders.
Last year President Trump also suggested to invite Putin to the G7 Summit, saying that Russia’s actions towards Crimea were “partially justified.”
Canadian prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that if Putin is invited to the Summit next year, he “will listen to what he says.”
Although many leaders said that they may boycott a summit with Putin in attendance, Trudeau stated: “I have never shied away at global summits from tables around which Mr. Putin sat and contributed. Given an opportunity, I will repeat myself and listen to what he has to say.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website