BERLIN

Germany on Monday opposed Russia’s return to the G7 group of nations, amid US President Donald Trump’s proposal to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the group’s next summit.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas underlined that Russia’s readmission to the group would not be possible if Moscow remains reluctant to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“The reason behind Russia’s suspension was the annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine. As long as we don’t have a solution here, I don’t see a chance for this,” Maas said in an interview with German daily General Anzeiger.

Trump has repeatedly argued for Russia’s return to the group of world’s major powers, and he recently suggested expanding the group with new members like Russia, India, Australia and South Korea.

Germany’s top diplomat Heiko Maas opposed Trump’s proposal, saying the existing format was a reasonable one.

“The G7 and G20 are two sensibly coordinated formats. We don’t need a G11 or G12,” he stressed.

In a phone call with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in last month, Trump described the G7 as an “outdated system” which doesn’t reflect the realities of today’s world, and he suggested expanding the group with new members.

Trump is planning to host leaders of G7 nations later this year. The summit was set for March but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Britain are members of the G7.

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