Who does need G7 without Russia? / News / News agency Inforos
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Who does need G7 without Russia?

Putin will not go to a G7 summit just as a guest

Who does need G7 without Russia?

Looking at any regional or global events from the perspective of Russia's attitude to them is considered a kind of "good tone" in the majority of the world's leading countries.

At the same time G7 meetings have been taking place without Russia in recent years. As a result, a paradoxical situation has come to shape: only the group's participants and their satellites are interested in G7 meetings despite their broad advertising. This is natural since global politics is senseless without Russia.

If we look at recent events, the G7 meeting in France's Biarritz will draw our attention. One of the meeting's highlights was the indirect recognition of inferiority of this meeting and other similar events without Russia. Ahead of, during and after the meeting various statements were voiced, ranging from calls to return to the G8 format (Trump and Macron) to principal objections (Boris Johnson). In particular, the British prime minister said that reasons for Russia's return the G7 had yet to be found. Meanwhile, routine vague attempts to link Russia to the situation in Ukraine were voiced in between these poles.

Incumbent European Council President Donald Tusk, who proposed replacing Russia with Ukraine in the G7 format, distinguished himself at the meeting. It seems that Tusk despite a rather long period of being in a high-ranking position in the EU couldn't have got rid of his narrow-minded attitudes. Given that he will no more work in the EU starting this fall, he seems to have begun preparing for the 2020 elections in Poland, and it is quite obvious that Russophobia will remain an important element of this future political activity. Some were more far-sighted at the G7 meeting and abstained from detailing their approaches.

This diversity of opinions could be considered to be spontaneous, but this can also be rehearsed speeches of actors playing previously set roles. Actually, this doesn't change anything. Demand for normal relations with Russia, in particular its participation in the Group is clear and has been turning into a necessity. It seems that some could get to understand this necessity, some are irritated by it, some are intimidated, and some would like to profit from it.

It is unlikely that the demand for normal relations with Russia could be satisfied if half-measures are taken. And a recent hint of American President Trump, who will be the G7 master in 2020, that he is ready to invite Russia to take part in the G7 summit in the USA could be considered as such measures.

The idea of Trump's team is of course far from being altruistic and caring about global balance. A link to the American electoral cycle can clearly be seen here. In 2020, the USA will vote in the next presidential elections. It is likely that the American president would like his Russian counterpart visit the USA in the electoral year, which would undoubtedly improve his image among American voters ahead of the elections.

Russia treats peculiarities of electoral campaigns in the USA with understanding. It takes into consideration American electoral cycles and understands that Trump has started building strategy and tactics aimed at ensuring his reelection as American president.

Given this, the American side should have a complete understanding that Russia should be considered as a mute actor in the American electoral race. It should also understand that Russia is interested in Group format as an opportunity to directly discuss the most important issues of global development rather than a fashionable meeting.

Prospects of Russia participation of the Group format can be discussed only after a number of things are sorted out, in particular what kind of participation proposal Russia will get and what will be the perception of Russia's role. The agenda of the future G7 meeting in the USA will be important as well.

Russia may start considering the proposal to renew in participation in the Group format under two crucial conditions. The first is that Russia doesn't participate as a guest. There should be a clear understanding that Russia will act as a full-fledged member without any reservations. The second is that the agenda of the Group format should include really topical issues of a truly global scale.

Finally, a rhetorical question comes to mind. Why does Russia need the Group format and who does need the Group without Russia, even if the Group's participations themselves doubt the value of the reduced Group?

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