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G7 wants Russia back in the club due to stiff competition with G20, says source

The diplomat characterized the proposal to resume the G8 format as "wise"

BRUSSELS, August 22. /TASS/. The Group of Seven, an informal bloc of countries with the world’s largest economies, wants to see Russia back in the organization due to the toughening geopolitical competition with the Group of Twenty, a forum of major advanced and emerging nations, a diplomatic source at a European countries’ mission in Brussels told TASS on Thursday.

"Russia’s return to the G7 is a conscious need. In the recent years, we have been observing a number of global trends indicating a decline in the G7’s global influence and growing influence of the G20 format, which was originally meant as a platform for purely economic cooperation," the diplomat said.

Thus, in his words, the G7 nations’ aggregate GDP has dropped from 50% to 30% of the global GDP in the past 30 years. Moreover, population of the G7 nations accounts for mere ten percent of the global population.

Secondly, according to the diplomat, the Group of Seven, which has been referring to itself as an "alliance of democracies," has been demonstrating violent disagreement between its member nations. And, last but not least, the G7 countries’ conflict with Russia has stiffened competition with the G20 format.

"In such environment, the G7 needs to find ways to strengthen its positions and normalize relations with Russia at the same time. So, it looks quite a wise proposal to move towards the resumption of the G8 format," the diplomat noted.

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in" [the G8]. According to a senior US administration official cited by CNN, Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a telephone conversation on Tuesday and agreed that the Russian president should be invited to a G7 summit in 2020. According to CNN, Trump plans to broach the topic at a G7 summit scheduled to take place in Biarritz, France, on August 24-26.

However, a source in Brussels told TASS on Thursday that the European Union is against Russia’s return to the G7 until the Minsk agreements are ultimately implemented.

The Group of Seven (G7) is an association of industrialized countries that brings together the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France and Japan. In 1997, it was renamed the Group of Eight (G8) after Russia joined the club. In 2014, Western countries decided to return to the G7 format in the wake of the developments in Ukraine and the deterioration of relations with Russia.