KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president backed main European powers on Thursday in opposing the readmission of Russia to the Group of Seven superior economies, saying Moscow nonetheless occupied Crimea and was irritating peace in jap Ukraine.
A G7 Summit patch is seen on a French Gendarme’s uniform as he patrols at a toll station in Anglet forward of the G7 Summit within the French coastal resort of Biarritz, France, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned on Tuesday it might be “acceptable” to have Russia rejoin what was once the G8. France will host a gathering of G7 leaders this weekend.
However Germany, France, Britain — all G7 members — shortly rebuffed Trump, noting that Russia was excluded after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea after which backed an anti-Kiev rebel within the industrial area of Donbas in jap Ukraine.
“Nothing has modified since March, 2014, when Russia’s participation within the G8 was stopped. Ukrainian Crimea is being occupied as earlier than, Ukrainian Donbas is affected by conflict,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mentioned.
Echoing that view, a European Union official mentioned readmitting Russian President Vladimir Putin to the group with out circumstances could be “counterproductive, an indication of weak point”.
“The EU stays strongly of the view that the explanations for Russia’s exclusion in 2014 from the then-G8 are nonetheless legitimate in the present day as they had been legitimate 5 years in the past. So the EU can be towards the thought of reinviting Russia to G7,” he mentioned.
The EU and the USA have imposed sanctions on Russia over its function within the Ukraine battle, during which some 13,000 folks have been killed to this point, based on U.N. information. Combating continues in Donbas, albeit at a low depth.
A peace course of brokered by Berlin and Paris has stalled.
Talking in Berlin on Wednesday, Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, additionally cited the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England final 12 months as a cause to not readmit Russia to the G7.
Britain and the EU blamed Russia for that assault. The Kremlin denied any involvement.
Zelenskiy thanked Johnson in a phone name for supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Ukrainian president’s workplace mentioned on Thursday.
The disagreement over how you can deal with Russia – the place Trump has praised Putin regardless of Western criticism of his report – is only one of a number of areas of rigidity in trans-Atlantic ties that can be on show on the G7 gathering in France.
The G7 teams the USA, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.
Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Enhancing by Gareth Jones