You’re not going to be believe this, but Donald Trump is trying to do Russia and Vladimir Putin a favor on the international stage. Shocking, right? But true: On his way to the G7 summit in Quebec, Trump told reporters that he wants Russia back in:
“It may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run. And in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in. Because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
The “Group of Seven,” G7 for short, is a collection of the world’s largest economies—the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K. Together, they account for about 62% of global wealth, and 46% of the world’s collective GDP. What they do, essentially, is to meet once every year at a “summit” to talk politics and economics, and decide which citizens will be put on death lists for the coming year.
Just kidding on that lasted part. But they’re basically the illuminati, only less secret. And in 1998, Russia was officially invited to join. That last until 2014, when Putin annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. Canada led the effort to give them the heave-ho, and they haven’t been back since.
Now, Trump wants them back, because of course he does. And at least one other G7 member country, Italy, agrees.
But not Canada. In 2015, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper had this to say about the Russians:
“Canada would very, very strongly oppose Putin ever sitting around that table again. It would require consensus to bring Russia back and that consensus will just not happen…Russia is more often than not trying deliberately to be a strategic rival, to deliberately counter the good things we’re trying to achieve in the world for no other reason than to just counter them.”
When asked for an update on these remarks following Trump’s push for readmission, Adam Austin, a spokesman for the foreign affairs minister, responded with some classic Canadian understatement:
“Our position has not changed.”
There you have it. At least someone in our hemisphere still has the remnants of a backbone.