US President Donald Trump called the G7 “a very outdated group of countries” and said that he wants to expand the format by inviting Russia, Australia, India, and South Korea to the meeting, CNN reports.
“I’m putting it off because I don’t feel that the G7 properly represents what’s happening in the world. This is a very outdated group of countries,” Trump said.
He added that he wants to invite four more countries to the summit: Russia, Australia, India, and South Korea, turning it into a G11.
Amid the spread of the coronavirus, Trump initially planned to cancel a personal meeting of G7 leaders and hold a June summit in the format of a video conference. The White House explained this decision as a desire to allow “every country to focus all its resources” on fighting the coronavirus epidemic.
However, on May 18, Trump reported a significant decrease in the number of new cases of infection in the United States and announced plans to hold still a meeting of the “Big seven” in the traditional format at his residence in Camp David. Initially, the summit was scheduled for June 10, but later it became known about the US plans to postpone the event. As a possible date, Trump adviser Robert O’Brien called the end of June.
Russia stopped being invited to G8 summits after the annexation of Crimea. This year’s summit will be held in the United States, and in August 2019, Trump allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the event as a guest. However, after the American leader’s statement about the possible invitation of Moscow to the meeting, the House of Representatives of the US Congress passed a resolution against Russia’s inclusion in the G7. The Kremlin then, in turn, noted that the restoration of the “Big Eight” is not an end in itself for Russia.
Now the Association includes the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France, Canada, and Japan.