Trump Breaks With G-7 to Urge Russia Return, Jabs `Unfair Trade

Share

Hours before he boarded Air Force One to fly to Quebec for the G7 meeting, U.S. President Donald Trump launched a series of fresh salvos at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and called on Russian Federation to be readmitted to the exclusive club of leading industrial nations.

"I see this as an acknowledgement and an evaluation of Russia's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with China", he said, making only passing mention of "our personal friendship".

"They should let Russian Federation come back in because we should have Russian Federation at the negotiating table", he said.

Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 USA election and possible coordination by people in Trump's campaign.

The interview was recorded on Thursday - before Trump's call for Russian Federation to be readmitted to the Group of Seven countries - and published on Saturday.

Trump was heading into a bigger controversy over trade as other G7 leaders, including host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have been angered by Washington's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from allies including Canada and the European Union.

Trump says he hopes to resolve what he considers unfair trade agreements with US allies during his time at the G-7 summit in Quebec on Friday and Saturday. "They understand. They're trying to act like, "Well, we fought with you in the wars" but they don't mention the fact that they have trade barriers against our farmers, they don't mention the fact that they're charging nearly 300-per-cent tariffs".

Mr Trump made the comment at the White House after hours of further escalating his rhetoric against long-time allies over United States trade practices.

Commentators questioned why the Trump administration would move to protect Russian interests at the expense of punishing them for alleged election interference.

Vienna has been discussed as a possible venue for a summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, the Kremlin said Saturday.

Trump joined the leaders of major industrialized nations in an idyllic Canadian resort town after days of escalating conflict over new United States tariffs he slapped on imports of steel and aluminum.

"Let's leave seven as it is", Tusk said. Under Trump, the US has sanctioned several Russians close to President Vladimir Putin and his circle.

Donald Trump is due to fly into Quebec on Friday morning for a G7 meeting which, even before it has begun, is already on the way to being the most acrimonious in the summit's history. So far the prime minister has said only that Italy remains a committed member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a special ally of the U.S., and that he will push for a review of sanctions against Russian Federation.

The French president expressed support for Trump in his expected summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but also warned his abrogation last month of a 2015 multilateral deal on the Iranian nuclear programme had cast doubt on the credibility of such agreements.

Share