Moscow agrees with Donald Trump’s criticism of G7 as a “very outdated” institution that does not represent “what’s going on in the world,” but cannot see how it can be improved without China’s participation.
The US president lashed out at the group of seven major industrialized nations last week as he canceled a planned G7 summit in the US. The event was scheduled for June, but Trump said he wanted an extended meeting in September, and wanted Russia to attend.
“I’m postponing [the summit] because I don’t feel, as a G7, it probably represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,” Trump told reporters on board Air Force One on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said “everyone agrees” with this stance, including Russia, but Moscow doesn’t agree with Washington’s apparent intention to keep Beijing out.
“It is obvious that… without China, realizing any serious global initiative would likely be impossible,” Maria Zakharova said. She reiterated Russia’s view of the G20 as a tried-and-tested format for international economic discussions that represent “leaders of economic growth and political influence of the entire world, and not just one of its parts.”
Moscow’s participation in the group, which used to be known as the G8, was suspended in 2014 after a political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s reunification with Crimea, which other members labeled an annexation. The Russian government said in response that it was skeptical about the group’s relevance, saying it has long been eclipsed by other fora like the G20.
The G7 was created in the 1970s as a gathering of major Western industrial producers: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The balance of economic power in the world has since shifted towards non-members like China.
Trump reportedly wants G7 to be reformed into an anti-China economic bloc. In addition to Russia, he wants it to include Australia, South Korea and India, the US media said after the cancelation of the summit.