Dec. 3 (UPI) — The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution disapproving of Russia’s participation in future G7 summits.
The chamber voted 339-71 to pass the resolution introduced by Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., in August. He brought forward the measure after President Donald Trump called for Russia’s return to the organization.
The group, sometimes called G7+1, presently consists of the United States, Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union. It was formerly known as the G8, but the other member states expelled Russia in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
“In 2014, Russia was expelled from the Group of Eight as a direct result of its aggressive actions in Ukraine and the remaining seven nations agreed several conditions that must be met before it would be allowed to participate in future summits Russia has not changed course, but has doubled down on their aggression in Ukraine and efforts to undermine democratic societies,” Sires said in a statement Tuesday.
“In the wake of President Trump announcing his intention to invite Putin to next year’s G7 summit it is more important than ever that we make it clear — the House of Representatives does not support Russia’s inclusion in the G7 as it continues to attack us, our partners and democratic institutions around the world.”
Trump called for Russia’s inclusion during the 45th G7 in France in August.
“I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in,” Trump said. “I could certainly see it being the G8 again.”
In his comments, Trump suggested Russia was expelled because Russian President Vladimir Putin was too much for then-U.S. President Barack Obama.
“President Obama didn’t want Russia in because he got outsmarted,” he told reporters in the Oval Office.
“I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there,” he said.