Trump calls for Russia reinstatement as G7 summit enters final day

US and G7 allies quarrel over Trump's call for Russia to be readmitted into the G7 with quarrels looming over the second and final day of the summit 

A proposal by United States President Donald Trump, that Russia should re-join the annual gathering of the seven advanced economies of the world has caused tensions within the group, with the proposal not having been well received by the remainder of the group's leaders.

In fact, the proposal was quickly shot down by his fellow leaders with German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly pointing out that Russia could not be readmitted until substantial progress had been made on Ukraine. Russia no longer remained a part of the summit following its annexation of Crimea back in 2014.

The proposal was also rejected by Canada’s Foreign Ministry who insisted that his country's position was "absolutely clear".

"There are no grounds whatsoever for bringing Russia with its current behaviour back into the G7," Chrystia Freeland said.

New Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte however opted to support Trump, tweeted approval of his suggestion by stating that, “Russia should re-enter the G8. It is in the interests of all.”

"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7,” Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said in a statement, seemingly having little interest in rejoining the forum. 

The rift over Russia threatened to overshadow the more pressing concern of a brewing trade war between the US and its key allies of the past decades.

Tensions between the US and its G7 partners over trade and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal were rife in the face of the summit which had been dubbed by some as "G6 plus one", referring to an isolated US. 

On 31 May, the Trump administration confirmed that it would be going ahead with imposing additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU, with trump tweeting about rectifying “unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries" hours before the summit.

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be,” French Prime Minister, Emmanuel Macron tweeted in response.

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