A senior official of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said Russia should ask to rejoin the G7 first.
"With regard to Russia, Russia was suspended from what was then the G8 for reasons that are well known. There has been discussion, I believe, coming from the French to about when it would be time for Russia to rejoin, if ever," he said in a press call on the G7 Summit.
"So that may very well come up, but the key factor here is that the Russians themselves have not asked to rejoin. So I would expect that should happen first," the official said.
At the same time, he recalled Trump's words who said that it would be a good thing if the Russians were there, given the fact that the G7 spends a significant amount of time talking about security and economic issues.
"But he's not necessarily opining one way or the other, and we don't really have anything further to add at this time," he said.
The official added the U.S. expects the issue of Russia's participation or nonparticipation will be discussed among the leaders.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 20, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would support Russia's return to the group.
French President Emmanuel Macron believes that such a step is possible after the Ukraine crisis is settled.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the reasons for Russia's exclusion from the G8 have not been eliminated, so any discussions about returning Russia to this format are premature.