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24 Aug, 2019 17:00

Tusk rejects the idea of Russia rejoining G7, suggests having Ukraine as next summit’s guest instead

Tusk rejects the idea of Russia rejoining G7, suggests having Ukraine as next summit’s guest instead

Ahead of the meeting of the world’s leading G7 countries, Donald Trump floated the idea of incorporating Russia back into the group. But European Council president Donald Tusk had a different thought – Ukraine as a guest.

Never a fan of Moscow, Tusk criticized Trump’s support for reinstating Russia into the club – he’d pragmatically said that having Russia in would be useful– since the greatest number of items discussed at G7 meetings actually involve Russia.

“One year ago, in Canada, President Trump suggested reinviting Russia to G7, 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,” snapped Tusk.  Instead, he promised to convince his partners to invite Ukraine as a guest to the next G7 meeting, stressing that would be a “better” option. Tusk guaranteed that that country’s new President, Volodymyr Zelensky, would be “very interested” in such an invitation.

Tusk’s logic was based on the fact that Russia does not ‘deserve’ politically to be readmitted to the Group of Seven, also because of the incident in the Azov Sea, when three Ukrainian Navy ships violated Russian territorial waters and provoked an hours-long standoff.

How this made Kiev more suitable to be invited to the club of leading economies, even as a guest, Tusk did not explain. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2018 Ukraine was ranked as Europe’s poorest country and took 162nd position among 227 world nations in terms of GDP per capita.

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