BY JACK DUTTON
The Group of 7 major economies will convene in the Bavarian Alps this weekend, but there will be one notable absence: Russia, which for years has no longer been a member of the powerful alliance.
The G7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. These economies dominate global trade, and Russia was a member of the “G8” until 2014—but was expelled from the group in response to its annexation of Crimea, part of Ukraine.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump said that he planned to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the summit scheduled for June 10–12, 2020, at Camp David in the U.S., drawing the ire of the United Kingdom and Canada, who said that they would not support Moscow’s readmission.
The summit was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The G7 sees itself as committed to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as prosperity and sustainable development.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference that Russia’s “continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms” was why it remained out of the G7.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. would veto any proposal for Russia to rejoin the group.
Germany is the host of this year’s summit, which will take place between June 26 and June 28 at Schloss Elmau, a five-star hotel and castle near the Austrian border, about 62 miles south of Munich and situated in the Alps. The last G7 summit hosted there was in 2015.
In response to economic and political reforms made under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, Russia joined the group in 1997, transforming the G7 to the G8.
Russia hosted the 32nd G8 summit at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg in July 2006.
There have also been calls for Russia to be banned from the G20 economies, a group of rich and developing nations, including from Janet Yellen, the U.S. treasury secretary. The G20 economies is struggling to unify its members over a response to the Ukraine war and some countries, including the U.S., have threatened to boycott some meetings.
Indonesian President and G20 Chairman Joko Widodo will meet leaders of Russia and Ukraine in the days following the G7 summit to promote peace and try and help ease the burden of the global food crisis, particularly on low-income countries.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday that Widodo will travel to the Ukrainian and Russian capitals after attending the G7 summit in Elmau.
In April, the Indonesian president invited Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the G20 summit on the resort island of Bali in November.