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Trump says he would ‘certainly invite’ Putin to the next G7 summit

Russia should not be allowed back into G7: Trudeau
WATCH ABOVE: Russia should not be allowed back into G7: Trudeau

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he would “certainly invite” Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next Group of Seven (G7) summit of the major industrialized countries.

“Would I invite him? I would certainly invite him,” Trump told reporters during his closing remarks from the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Monday.

“Whether or not he could come psychologically, I think that’s a tough thing for him to do.”

READ MORE: Foreign Affairs Minister says Russia must reform before rejoining the G7

Russia was dropped from what was then the G8 in 2014 after it annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea and backed an anti-Kiev rebellion in the industrial region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he “made clear” that Canada does not support Russia’s reintegration into the G7.

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“Russia has yet to change the behaviour that led to its expulsion in 2014, and therefore should not be allowed back into the G7,” Trudeau said. “Russia’s aggression and illegal annexation of Crimea is completely unacceptable.

“Canada has and always will defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

WATCH: Freeland says Russia should not be welcomed back into G7 until it leaves Crimea, Donbass

Freeland says Russia should not be welcomed back into G7 until it leaves Crimea, Donbass
Freeland says Russia should not be welcomed back into G7 until it leaves Crimea, Donbass

Trudeau’s comments echoed those made by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland ahead of the G7 summit on Friday.

Freeland said Russia “grossly violated” international law by invading and annexing Crimea and supporting the war in the Donbass, and said it is something Canada “cannot allow to stand.”

“This was an incredibly serious step,” she said. “It is the first annexation of territory of a European country since the Second World War.”

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READ MORE: G7 leaders end summit with a focus on U.S-China trade tensions, climate, Iran

Freeland said if Russia sought to rejoin the G7, it would be “very simple.”

I think all of us would be delighted to welcome a Russia which sought again to be a member in good standing of our like-minded group of countries committed to the rule of law, a group of countries committed to democracy,” she said.

“And the way for Russia to show that it wants to do that is to leave Crimea and to end the war in Donbass,” she continued. “It’s very simple.”

WATCH: Trump says it’s better to have Putin “inside the room”

Trump says it’s better to have Putin “inside the room”
Trump says it’s better to have Putin “inside the room”

Trump, however, had previously said it would be “appropriate” to have Russia rejoin the G7.

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“It should be the G8, because a lot of things we talk about have to do with Russia, so I could certainly see it being the G8 again,” he told reporters during a meeting in the Oval Office with Romanian President Klauis Iohannis on Tuesday.

“If somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favourably,” he said.

READ MORE: Donald Trump puts forward his Miami golf course as location for next G7 summit

On Monday, Trump blamed the annexation of Crimea on Barack Obama, saying the former president had been “outsmarted.”

“They took Crimea during his term. That was not a good thing and it could have been stopped,” he said. “But President Obama was unable to stop it.”

According to Trump, leaders discussed the possibility of Russia’s reintegration back into the G7 during this year’s summit, however, a vote did not take place.

“A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power, having them in the room is better than outside the room,” he said. “My inclination is to say ‘yes,’ they should be in.”

WATCH: Trump discusses possibly hosting G7 summit next year

Trump discusses possibly hosting G7 summit next year
Trump discusses possibly hosting G7 summit next year

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, said on Monday that G7 leaders had not reached a consensus on inviting Russia to next year’s G7 summit in the United States.

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Macron added that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would organize a summit in the coming weeks with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to obtain results on the crisis in Ukraine.

— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press