Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Trump remains isolated as G7 summit enters final day

Putin teases new arms Lasers & hypersonic missiles in service but ‘that’s not all Putin, Xi Beijing meeting underscores close relationship
Ellis Copeland | 09 June, 2018, 16:29

President Donald Trump said Friday he thinks Russian Federation should be reinstated into the Group of Seven, the industrialized countries whose leaders are meeting in Canada this weekend.

"You know, whether you like it or not - and it may not be politically correct - but we have a world to run", Trump said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Russia was ready to improve relations with the U.S., including through personal meetings. "He has all this smoke surrounding what may or may not have happened during the campaign with Russia and with his campaign, and instead of backing off of it, instead of distancing himself, we continue to see him run directly towards Vladimir Putin, nearly as if there is no concern whatsoever for Vladimir Putin meddling in our elections, for Russians shooting down a commercial plane... for Russia annexing Crimea--which is the reason why they're not in the G-8!" But in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin alarmed world leaders after moving troops into eastern Ukraine and taking over Crimea.

Before arriving at the meeting of the group, which some suggest Trump is pushing from the Group of Seven into "G-6 plus one", he further stirred the pot by asking why Russian Federation was excluded.

That comment has Trump squarely offside with this fellow G7 leaders, including Canada, who view Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its meddling in western elections as a major worldwide security concern.

He appears to view the G7 as an opportunity to set his allies straight on trade while seeking their support on North Korea, tweeting Friday: "I am heading for Canada and the G-7 for talks that will mostly centre on the long-time unfair trade practiced against the United States".

On May 31, the Trump administration confirmed it would apply additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico, and European Union countries, ending a two-month exemption period.

According to Sputnik News, Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov responded to Trump's call for reinstatement, saying, "Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7".

The US president arrived late to Charlevoix and will leave early.

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China-Russia partnership is a paradigm for today's state-to-state relations, and coordination between the two countries serves as a key factor in maintaining the world's strategic balance and stability, said the joint statement.

Frictions over trade tariffs recently imposed by the Trump administration are overshadowing the summit.

"Both share scepticism towards American hegemony and distrust United States intentions, both are authoritarian personalistic rulers", he said.

The President of the European Council dismissed Mr Trump's leadership a "seasonal turbulence" and predicted the G7 group would prevail despite America's isolationist policies.

"If I can get the president to actually realise that what he's doing is counterproductive for his own goals as well, perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way", Trudeau said. "Maybe we should come up with a new slogan", he said. "One of the promises was to improve US-Russian relations".

"My experience of communication with the U.S. president suggests that although his actions are frequently criticized, especially lately, including on the worldwide scene and in the economic sphere, this experience tells me after all that he is a thoughtful person who can listen to and who responds to arguments given by his interlocutor".

At a photo op at the start of a head-to-head meeting with Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Trump joked that "Justin" had agreed to drop all trade tariffs, then insisted the two countries are making progress on North American free-trade agreement trade talks.

Experts said the award was a clear sign that both countries were growing closer amid increasing pressure from the US.

Speaking ahead of the two-day event in Canada today, Mr Tusk said this year's summit would be "even more challenging" than 2017's - an event which he had previously billed as the most hard in years.

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