G8 to G7 to G6+1
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
In March 2014, G8 member states expelled Russia over nonexistent “aggression” in Ukraine, along with Crimea’s reunification with the Russian Federation, correcting a historic mistake.
On Monday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “this forum has been losing its importance because given the changing political and economic situation, other platforms, such as the G20, where Russia is an active member, have been becoming more important.”
Last April, Kremlin envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said without Russian involvement, “the G7 is increasingly irrelevant.”
The self-styled seven major industrialized democracies are profoundly undemocratic. The world’s second largest economy, China, certain to become its dominant one, is denied participation.
Last April, G7 foreign ministers America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada, along with EU political chief Federica Mogherini, met for two days in Toronto.
Russophobic Big Lies were featured. Host Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland falsely accused Russia of destabilizing activities, adding:
“The G7 countries are committed to preventing, stopping and responding to foreign interference.”
“There are consequences for those who seek to undermine our democracies,” disgracefully pointing fingers at Russia – ignoring US-dominated NATO high crimes of war and against humanity, partnered with Israel and other rogue states.
Russophobic UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said “(w)hat we decided…was that we were going to set up a G7 group that would look at Russian malign behavior in all its manifestations – whether it’s cyber warfare, whether it’s disinformation, assassination attempts, whatever it happens to be, and collectively try to call it out.”
The Tory regime he represents is allied with US aggression in multiple war theaters. So are other G7 members Canada, France, Germany, and Italy.
Excluded from the Group of leading industrialized countries, Russia and China wage world peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among all nations, not endless wars for conquest and dominance.
On June 8 and 9, G7 and EU leaders are meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada. Because of Trump’s “America first” policies on trade, the JCPOA pullout, hostility toward Russia, climate, and other issues, the forum is increasingly the G6+1.
Traditional US allies are increasingly frustrated in dealings with Washington. Trump’s hardline National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, tried putting a brave face on forum discord, “regard(ing) this as…a family quarrel,” downplaying increasing US isolation on key world issues.
US-imposed tariffs on Canada and EU countries weigh heavily on talks. Brussels filed legal proceedings against Washington at the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that Trump violated trade rules.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker called “unilateral US tariffs…unjustified and at odds with World Trade Organization rules. This is protectionism, pure and simple.”
Because of major G6 disagreements with Trump, a unified final statement may not be signed for the first time ever.
Trump intends cutting short his G7 participation, heading to Singapore on Saturday, ahead of his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
On June 7, he fired off the following hostile remarks, tweeting:
“Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the US. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies.” Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!”
“Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the US and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy – hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!”
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the US is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out.”
Many of his tweets combine unacceptable rage with glaring inaccuracies. Most of his remarks combine bluster and bravado. On issues mattering most, his rhetoric lacks credibility.
As commander-in-chief of America’s military with his finger on the nuclear trigger, he may be eager to squeeze it at his discretion.
On trade, it’s unclear what’s bluster and posturing or real. Ahead of G7 talks, he roared: “Take down your tariffs and barriers or we will more than match you!”
Unacceptable G7 hostility toward Russia, along with Trump’s agenda on trade, the JCPOA, climate, EU collaboration with Moscow on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project Washington opposes, and other issues has driven a wedge between America under Trump and other G7 nations.
Washington is becoming increasingly isolated in dealings with other major world nations over its unacceptable policies. Claiming they’re for national security is bunkum. Alleged threats against the US are invented, not real.
Western unity is frayed. Major differences between the G6 and America are unresolved. New Italian Prime Minister Guisippe Conte called for ending EU sanctions on Russia.
EU Commission president Jean-Claude Junker urged normalizing relations with Moscow somewhat, not entirely. “This Russia bashing has to be brought to an end…We have to reconnect with Russia,” he said.
At his annual marathon Q & A session on Thursday, Putin called Western containment of Russia wrongheaded. “So are the notorious sanctions (targeting) Russia’s (economic) development,” he said.
Sounding an optimistic tone, he said nations “eventually develop (the) awareness (that) constructive cooperation” is mutually beneficial, adding:
“You can see what is happening in many countries. At the political level there everybody points to the need for establishing normal relations with Russia.”
Washington remain the major obstacle, militantly hostile to Moscow. Putin’s optimism may be premature.
Nothing ahead suggests positive geopolitical change overall – notably with endless US-led wars of aggression raging in multiple theaters, resolving them nowhere in sight.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”