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28 Aug, 2019 01:44

‘We’re going to work towards that end’: Pompeo on inviting Russia back into G7

‘We’re going to work towards that end’: Pompeo on inviting Russia back into G7

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo has said that the Trump administration, himself included, will make an effort to secure Russia’s return to the G7, as it is what US President Donald Trump thinks Washington should do.

Pompeo doubled down on Trump’s earlier statement that Russia, booted out of the cohort of the most industrialized nations over its reunification with Crimea and the Ukrainian turmoil, should be invited to the group’s next meeting in an interview on Tuesday. Asked if Russia should be invited back so the group can become the G8 once again, Pompeo said: “Yeah, the President thinks so.”

However, when asked if he agrees with his boss’s stance on the issue, Pompeo dodged the question, merely stating that he would be pursuing that goal as well.

The President thinks that’s what we should do. I work for the President. Of course, we’re going to work towards that end.

While Pompeo fell short of explicitly agreeing with Trump’s Russia policy, despite being his country’s top diplomat and thus the man in charge of implementing it, he still reaffirmed Trump’s interest in seeing Russia return to the club.

The US president has repeatedly spoken about the need to readmit Russia. As the G7 summit in Biarritz, France wrapped up on Monday, Trump tentatively invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next year’s G7 meet-up hosted by the US.

Saying that he would “certainly” invite the Russia leader and “it would have been easy” if Russia had been represented during many of the roundtables, Trump noted that Putin, as “a proud person,” might as well not accept the invite.

Also on rt.com ‘End of Western hegemony’: Why does Macron want Russia at Europe’s side?

It was not the first time Trump has floated the idea, and he has not been the only one warning of the dangers of alienating Russia from the West. The host of the recent meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron, called the idea of pushing Russia away from Europe a “strategic mistake,” arguing that this ill-conceived approach would pave the way for a potentially menacing alliance between Russia and China.

Calls for rapprochement with Russia, however, have been lost on European Council president Donald Tusk. Tusk, never a fan of Moscow, said that while having Russia might be useful from a practical standpoint, inviting Ukraine would be “a better option.”

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