United States President Donald Trump telephoned his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss the organization of a G7 summit to which he wants to invite Russia, expelled from the group in 2014, and to speak bilateral cooperation.
“Donald Trump reported on his idea to convene a G7 summit with the possible participation of Russia, Australia, India and South Korea,” the Kremlin said in a statement, calling the conversation “constructive” and “substantial.” according to the EFE news agency.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke, but gave no details of the conversation.
Trump said Saturday that he will postpone until September a meeting of the major industrialized nations of the G7 that he had scheduled to hold next month, and plans to invite Russia, Australia, South Korea and India.
The president also told journalists that he felt that the current composition of the group is “very outdated” and does not adequately represent “what is happening in the world.”
The members of the G7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group’s presidency rotates annually among member countries.
Russia had been included in the meeting of the world’s most advanced economies since 1997, but was suspended in 2014 after its invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution in December 2019 supporting Russia’s previous expulsion from the annual meeting.
While the Kremlin said Trump told Putin about his idea, he did not offer any details of the conversation or say whether the Russian leader accepted the invitation.
After learning of Trump’s invitation to Putin to the G7, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Russia will not be included in the group’s next summit.
In disagreement with Trump, Trudeau pointed to Russia as “a continuing lack of respect for international rules and norms.”
Trudeau said the largest countries in the Group of 20 do not always agree, but that the G7 is for like-minded countries and he hoped that would continue.
The Russian Presidency note further reported that both leaders also discussed the importance of improving the Russian-American dialogue in the field of strategic stability and confidence-building measures in the military field.
The United States announced its withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, a multilateral agreement to guarantee transparency in arms control, after accusing Russia of not adhering to that pact.
In addition, the dialogue is stalled to extend beyond 2021 the New START of 2010 on the reduction of nuclear weapons, the only pact in this matter in force between both countries.
Trump and Putin discussed the state of battered bilateral relations and agreed to continue contacts “at various levels,” according to the Kremlin.
They also discussed the implementation of the OPEC + alliance agreement on cutting oil production and found that the agreement reached “was achieved thanks to active support from the presidents of Russia and the United States.”
The leaders expressed their confidence that the agreement, reached in April, will allow “to gradually restore the demand for oil and stabilize prices” in the market.