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If the G7 Invites Russia Back It Should Say NO

Russia gains nothing by being a member of a hostile organisation that is becoming increasingly irrelevant as it is being overtaken in importance by the G20 and the BRICS

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Groucho Marx made a famous joke back in 1949 about not wanting to join a club that would have him as a member.

The G7 exactly reverses that. Why would Russia want to join a club that had the G7 as members?

It’s not as if Russia was ever a real member anyway. What was called the G8 was in reality no such thing.

It was more accurately the G7+1. The economic discussions happened between the original G7.  Russia would then be invited in to talk about political issues.

What that meant in practice was that the US and the rest after their own meeting would gang up on Russia.  

Putin or for a time Medvedev would be subjected to long tedious lectures on (take your pick) Syria, human rights, carbon emissions, Ukraine etc, telling him how bad his behaviour was. The Western media would chortle about how isolated that left Russia . There’d be a final communique and a photo op. Then they’d all go home.

Putin thinks so little of the format that in 2012, just after his election, he didn't even bother to go. (He sent Medvedev instead).

If the G7 were really as important as they think it might be worth it. The truth is they are not.

The fact is they don’t even represent the world’s biggest economies anymore. China — in purchasing power parity terms the world’s biggest economy — is not a member. Nor are India or Brazil.

The G20 is a far more important format. Cack-handed attempts by last year's Australian hosts to exclude Russia, complete with threats to “shirt-front Putin”, got nowhere.

The BRICS also matters much more. In 2 or 3 years at most their combined GDP will have surpassed that of the G7.

Russia gains nothing by being part of the G7 and is better off outside it.

What is really weird is that the members of the G7 just don’t see it. We had all sorts of comments from people like Merkel, Hollande, Lagarde and Tusk regretting Russia wasn’t there and hinting that if Russia behaved itself it would be invited back.

If Russia is ever invited back it should just say no. 

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