Saturday, June 09, 2018

Europe USA and Russia - The G7 or G8.

The break up this week-end of the meeting of G7 leaders in Canada was unsatisfactory. 

The G8 having expelled Russia some 4 years ago for unlawfully annexing the Crimea from the Ukraine, became the G7 group of nations comprising Canada France Germany Italy Japan the UK and the USA.

Now the USA under President Trump and Italy under its new Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte are calling for Russia to be invited to rejoin the group. The UK Germany Canada and France strongly disagree. 

In my view President Trump is quite wrong. The annexation of Crimea was only four years ago and amounted to an invasion of  part of a foreign state in breach of international law.

The Times newspaper this morning has an interesting and in my view not entirely unrelated, article about brutal raids in 1814, by US troops on what is now Canada. This led to the burning of the White House by British  troops although The Times also reports that this led:  a new national anthem and the basis for 200 years of enduring friendship with Britain.

A new and enduring friendship with Russia would be excellent news for the world. However unlike the UK USA and Canadian positions  today over North America, the Crimean crimes are unresolved as yet and  the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury are far too recent. 

Russia denies the  Salisbury poisonings of course but even the USA supported the further sanctions against the Russians as a consequence. For the USA to seek to invite Russia back into the G7/8 so soon after joining in condemnations of Russia by the UK and other allies of the Salisbury poisonings is quite illogical. 

Sadly my conclusion is that President Trump is simply seeking trading and political gains for the USA whereas his predecessors may have been more concerned about world  order and fairness more generally. As can be seen from this post President Trump is not my kind of politician yet he leads the most powerful country in the world and for that deserves respect.

North Korea  may be where President Trump's mind eye is set at present. Possibly Nobel Peace prizes await for a de-militarised,  at least as regards nuclear weapons, zone in that part of the world, being agreed in due course. We can but wait and see.

Almost as an aside, the Russian treatment of their visitors to the FIFA World Cup matches taking place there shortly maybe interesting and hopefully peace will reign at least for the international football there. "Come on England."

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