Inviting Russia back to the Group of Seven industrialized nations would be an important development as it would make the G7 more inclusive, Michele Geraci, the undersecretary of state for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, said.

“Bringing Russia back to the family of this club will be a very important development and make it more inclusive. Actually, that was the reason why we went from G7 to G20 — to include other countries who were not part of the ‘elite club.’ We do not want to be an elite club, we want to be inclusive,” Geraci said.

The European Union is against readmitting Russia until it addresses the issues that led to its exclusion back in 2014, a high-ranking source in EU institutions told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. At the same time, France has invited Australia, India, Chile, South Africa and four other African nations to the talks.

“It is quite normal to have extra participants; it happens also with G20… Also, of course, China is now the second biggest economy, so of course without China the G7 does not represent the richest countries,” Geraci argued.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Russia should return to what used to be G8. His French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the annual G7 summit this week, suggested that Russia be invited when the United States chairs it in 2020. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that his country saw any form of dialogue with G7 nations as useful.

The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their summit will take place in the southwestern French resort of Biarritz from August 24-26. The main topic of this year’s summit will be the fight against inequality and advancement of the universal access to social welfare.

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