Heise (Germany): the summit “the big seven” with Russia — and without Merkel?

Last weekend, the President of the United States Donald trump said he did not believe that the established 45 years ago and, by the way, “outdated “big seven” correctly sets out what happens in the world.” So he wants to transform this format, expanding it to the G10 or even G11, to its membership, along with the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, also included Russia, South Korea, India and Australia.

The President of South Korea, moon Jae-In has already managed to announce that thanked trump for the invitation during a recent telephone conversation. And the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison said through his representative that trump once personally gave him a call and he will be glad to take part in the meeting.

Remarkable lack

Representative Morrison welcomed the invitation of the Australian Prime Minister and pointed out that “strengthening of international cooperation among like-minded States in times of unprecedented global challenges is very important.” What challenges, in addition to coronavirus, referred to, he said.

If you look at the world map and look for what economic and military giant trump “forgot” to mention, but which shares borders with India, South Korea and Russia (and located not too far from Australia), it becomes clear that he meant: “dealing with China”, which, according to the White house, will be dedicated to one of the themes of the summit. Former Australian foreign Minister Alexander Downer (Alexander Downer) openly welcomed it. In his opinion, “most, if not all countries of the Indo-Pacific region, would now have been vassals of China,” if not for the US.

Russia wants to know the details

Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi has already participated in last year’s G7 summit in Biarritz, but only as guests. Then they invited the President of France Emmanuel macron. Russia was once not a guest but a member of this group when it was called the “big eight”. However, after the Crimean crisis of 2014 other heads of state and government didn’t want to see in their ranks Russian President Vladimir Putin. This position has not changed and when Donald trump at the last two summits called for the return of Russia in this format.

Externally, the Russian leadership took the news calmly, noting that in any case much more important role than reduced to “friends” during the cold war the G7, is played by “big twenty”, which includes countries such as China and India. This was stated, in particular, the Chairman of the Committee on international relations of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev, adding, however, that I need to start to understand the details, and then formally respond to a new offer of the Americans. While Russia is not satisfied with any the role of a “mere observer” in the new format, nor “Union (its members) against other States”, said Kosachev.

What details trump later said Putin in a telephone conversation, unknown. In the Kremlin on this occasion said only that yesterday’s conversation between the presidents was “businesslike and constructive”. In addition, they “stressed the importance of enhancing dialogue between Moscow and Washington.” It will be important for “strategic stability” and “strengthening mutual trust in the military sphere”.

Trudeau wants a summit with Putin and macron — only with Merkel

Still unequivocally opposes the return of Russia the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. He said today that Russia “is still proudly flaunting its disrespect for international rules and norms”, which continue to remain outside the G7. Emmanuel macron, the other a Francophone representative in the group, declared after a telephone conversation with trump about the “progress in the convening of the G7,” that such a summit, in his opinion, impossible without the participation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On behalf of Merkel, who recently endorsed the plan Rules on the introduction of “Eurobonds”, the representative of the Federal government of Germany said late last week that “in connection with the General situation of the pandemic,” she is not yet able to “guarantee his personal involvement” in the meeting, which involves a trip to Washington. It will stay in this position in force in September and later, it has not been clarified.

According to trump, September would be an appropriate time to meet, since then the heads of state and government and their environment in any case will arrive in new York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly. If immediately before or after it has taken place and a meeting in the format of G, then the politicians would have saved the taxpayers ‘ money, and their time spent in the air. However, trump has offered to meet with colleagues and in November — after the presidential election in the United States.

Initially, the G7 summit was to be held in USA June 10-12, but after a global outbreak of coronavirus, the heads of state and government agreed in March to communicate via videoconference. But now, according to trump, the situation was brought under control, so that soon again will have the opportunity to meet in person.