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Trump backs Russia return to G8

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By Agence France-Presse

US President Donald Trump expressed support Tuesday for Russia’s return to the G8, saying it would be “much more appropriate” for Moscow to be in the club of world powers.

“I could certainly” support that, he told reporters at the White House, just days before a G7 summit — minus Russia — in Biarritz, France.

“It’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8, because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” he said.

President Vladimir Putin’s Russia was expelled from the old G8 format after Moscow seized Crimea from neighboring Ukraine.

But Trump said the reason Russia was kicked out was because his predecessor Barack Obama was “outsmarted” by Putin.

“I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in. So he wanted Russia out,” Trump said.

“So I could certainly see it being the G8 again and if someone would make that motion, I would be disposed to think about it very favorably,” he said.

Trump is due to host the next G7 meeting in the United States next year.

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