Trump and discord: Results of scandalous G7 summit

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

The two days of the leaders of Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Germany meeting were accompanied by disputes. The agreements reached in the end were nullified by two tweets of the American president. Why did the current summit become the most scandalous in its history?
23:45, 12 June 2018

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He was late and left earlier, offered to return Russia to the club of leading democracies of the world, accused Barack Obama of annexing Crimea, called the Canadian prime minister "dishonest and weak" and eventually refused of his signature under the final document. President Donald Trump, without a doubt, became the central (and somewhat isolated) figure of the G-7 summit, which was held in Canada on June 8-9.

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"Seven is a lucky number"

The summit started on the background of disagreements.

A few hours before the flight to Canada, US President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced the need to return Russia to the G8, from which it was expelled in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea. "Russia should be at the meeting, should be at the negotiating table," he told journalists on June 8. Trump's idea was supported only by the new premier of Italy Giuseppe Conte, who is convinced that "it will be in the interests of all."

The other countries of the "Big Seven" opposed this. In France, the proposal was called "inconsistent" and such that it does not agree with the latest US sanctions against the Russian Federation.

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In the UK they remembered "the various harmful activities of Russia" (the annexation of Crimea, the poisoning of Skripal, - Ed.) and noted that Moscow should change its approach. In Canada, too, they said that they would not support the idea of returning the Russian Federation to the G8, while Crimea would remain annexed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that such a scenario is possible, but progress is needed in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The European Union also spoke in favor of maintaining the current format of the G7. "I've heard a lot of speculation, but the seven is a lucky number, at least in our culture," said European Council President Donald Tusk before the summit.

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As Merkel noted on June 10, she does not know what guided Trump when he put forward this proposal. According to her, the US president could not explain this clearly at the summit in Canada.

The interesting reaction showed the Russian Federation. It turned out that President Vladimir Putin still thinks that the country remains in the G8 and invites everyone to a meeting in Moscow.

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"Controversial moments"

Before the beginning of the summit, Merkel noted that the final declaration is in question. She was in favor of discussing all the controversial points and not pretending that everything was fine. It was, in particular, the disagreements between the United States and the Six in the issues of climate change, relations with Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sides have significantly different views concerning international trade. In March, the US introduced a 25% duty on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports, calling it "a matter of national security." For Canada, Mexico and EU countries, tariffs have been introduced since June 1. Canada called the US decision "punitive" and threatened to introduce from July 1, 25% tariffs for some types of American steel and 10% for other products.

Before the summit, Trump said, "about unfair trade agreements with the G7 countries."

EU President Donald Tusk noted that Trump's position on trade, climate change, and Iran "poses a real danger." Premier of Great Britain Theresa May advocated a more restrained position with regard to US customs policy. President of France Emmanuel Macron on June 9 expressed hope for a dialogue with the US on trade. On the same day, Trump announced "significant progress" in the negotiations with Canada regarding the reduction of duties. Interestingly, he called for relations between the countries "perhaps better than ever before."

It would seem that diplomacy won ambitions and the two sides agreed on a joint communique on the results of the two-day meeting.

The final communique ... and Trump's demarche

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In a joint statement, on which acceptance and signing were announced by Trudeau on June 9, the G7 leaders:

- Condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

- Called on Iran to refrain from launching ballistic missiles, and the DPRK to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

- Decided to strengthen the protection of the marine environment.

- Spoke for the speedy resolution of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza territory.

- Recognized the need to ensure equal access of women to the labor market, the eradication of violence and gender inequality.

- Decided to develop a new system of protection against propaganda - the Rapid Response Mechanism. Agreed to cooperate with social networks.

- Planned to modernize the World Trade Organization.

- Announced their intention to fight protectionism - to make joint efforts to reduce duties and other trade restrictions.

- Expressed support for the "ambitious and necessary" reform plan in Ukraine, confirmed the condemnation of the annexation of Crimea and support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

- Agreed to jointly react to the actions of "hostile states."

- Called on Russia to stop" undermining democracy, "adhering to Minsk agreements, respecting Ukraine's sovereignty and not supporting the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria”.

- Announced their readiness to extend restrictive measures against Moscow, noting that the extension of sanctions is connected with the non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements.

- Condemned the poisoning of former intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and put the responsibility for this on the Russian Federation.

And everything would be good, if not the Trump's demarche. Being on the plane on his way to Singapore, he reported via Twitter that he had withdrawn his signature from a joint statement. This was the first such precedent in the history of the G-7 format.

Such a decision Trump motivated by the position of Trudeau regarding the new US duties on steel and aluminum.

"Justin Trudeau during the G7 summit looked so gentle and mild, and after my departure told at a press conference that" US duties were kind of insulting "and such that he" will not be pushed around." Very dishonest and weak!" wrote the American president.

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Trudeau office said that the Canadian prime minister "did not say anything he did not talk about before, both publicly and privately with Trump."

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What's next?

European Union and Canada reacted to the Trump’s demarche with restraint and noted that they will defend the final statement of the G7 summit. True, Merkel called the gesture of the US president "such that is sobering and oppressing."

If the US president does withdraw his signature from the communique (remember how he initiated the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the nuclear deal with Iran, with UNESCO, etc.), direct consequences are most likely not to be critical. Because the final statement of the G-7 is not a binding document.

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Trump himself, who undoubtedly became the central figure of the summit, traveled to another destination - Singapore, where he is entrusted with an equally important mission - to convince the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un of the need to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. The summit has already been called historic; the entire world was closely following its preparations.

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