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Maas: Germany against US push to let Russia back into G7

July 27, 2020

US President Donald Trump had suggested reintroducing Russia into the G7 last month. However, Moscow first needs to take greater efforts in solving the conflict in Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka

Germany has rejected a proposal floated by US President Donald Trump to allow Russia back into the Group of Seven (G7) most advanced economies, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview published Monday.

"The reason for Russia's exclusion was the annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine," he told the Rheinische Post newspaper. "As long as we do not have a solution there, I see no chance for this."

Russia was expelled from the G7 in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea region.

'Don't need' more members

"Russia itself can make the biggest contribution to reopening such doors," Maas said, urging the Kremlin to do more to overcome the conflict.

"The G7 and G20 are two sensibly coordinated formats," the minister added. The G20 is the larger gathering of the world's most industrialized countries which still includes Russia. 

"We don't need G11 or G12," Maas said.

A role for Russia

Still, Maas said Russia remains important to the G7.

"We also know that we need Russia in order solve conflicts in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine," Maas said. 

He called on Russia to do its part in Ukraine, saying that Moscow had been slow to act there. 

The foreign minister also criticized Russia for preventing the arrival of humanitarian aid to 1.5 million people in Syria.

"Russia is in control of how it is perceived," Maas said. 

kp/dj (Reuters,dpa)