Putin supports ‘dialogue’ of return to G-7 but lacks information following Trump proposal

The Kremlin on Monday said it remains in the dark about President Trump’s plan to add Russia, India, South Korea and Australia to the Group of 7 nations summit, but supports “dialogue in all directions.”

Mr. Trump on Saturday described his new proposal as the “G-10 or G-11” and said he’s “roughly” broached the idea with the leaders of the four countries he’d like to add.

“Maybe I’ll do it after the election,” he said, adding that he could also host the gathering around the time of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City in September — postponing the gathering that was expected next month.

“I’m postponing it because I don’t feel as a G-7 it probably represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,” Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “We want Australia, we want India, we want South Korea. That’s a nice group of countries right there.”

The spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said Monday that Mr. Putin “is a supporter of dialogue in all directions, but in this case, in order to respond to such initiatives, we need to receive more information, which we, unfortunately, do not have.”

Russia was removed from what was known as the G-8 in 2014 amid Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula.

The G-7 has since been comprised of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the U.S.

Following Mr. Trump’s announcement, Alyssa Farah, White House strategic communications director, said the proposal is bringing together traditional U.S. allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China. The administration is increasingly clashing with China over issues such as the coronavirus crisis and Hong Kong.

The president had been planning to host the G-7 summit at the White House in late June or partly at Camp David, amid discussions with other heads of state about how to handle the gathering during the coronavirus pandemic. He has previously expressed support of Russia’s return to the G-7.

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