Isolated and Alone: Western Leaders Gang Up on Trump at G7, West No Longer United
By the way, the same Wall Street Journal wrote that it was Vienna, Austria, that might host the meeting of Trump and Putin. Why not? The platform is quite neutral and the Austrians, to be fair, did their best to create an image of a venue for talks. However, it's clear that such a meeting, if any, won't be held tomorrow. But still, if it were tomorrow, would Trump arrive there as the leader of the free world? Is the USA still the undisputed leader of the West and does the West remain united?
In this context, let us move to Canada where the G7 summit is being held. An unusual summit.
Our correspondent Alexander Khristenko has the details of it.
Donald Trump was late for the breakfast meeting, though he's known to get up almost at 4 a.m. Apparently, that's why Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, who attended the meeting, gave Trump such an inquisitive glance. The G7 leaders were discussing gender equality at that moment. But Trump is way more interested in the trade equality. He didn't distance himself an inch from his firm stance: He is ready to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on EU and Canada if the G7 members lower their tariffs, all of them at once and to zero. The leaders' attempts to address the common past, like, they are allies, they fought on the same side many times, didn't work with Trump.
Donald Trump: «The tariffs on American goods are inconceivable and unacceptable. We must put an end to it. Otherwise, we will stop trading with these countries. We are just like a piggy-bank that everyone is robbing. And it has got to end».
He is not with us. At first, many G7 leaders in every way showed their desire to isolate Donald Trump. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe suddenly put on pace. The tight-knit European trio of Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron get in the same frame. Trump lagged behind and definitely didn't force himself into their company. He met the new Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte who was elected a week ago. Moreover, he supported the sudden call of the American president to bring Russia back to the negotiation table and the G8 format. Great Britain and Canada, however, strongly disagreed with that. «Smile and wave!» The Canadian prime minister encouraged the other participants during the photo op.
But Trump plainly repeated once more: Russia must be in the G8.
— Do you think the Crimea should be recognized as the Russian territory so that Russia returns to G8?
Donald Trump: You know you should ask President Obama about that. Because he is the one who let Russia annex the Crimea. This happened under his administration. And he is the one who let Russia spend a huge sum of money to rebuild the Crimea. The G8 format is way more productive than G7 anyway. And we want to establish peace, not to play games.
Trump's suggestion to bring Russia back to the G8 split the G7 even more. And there are still sharp differences over the Iranian nuclear deal. The Europeans, who want to keep it, are afraid of running into American sanctions.
It's important to keep talking, to engage, to continue the dialogue, now and always. This is how Macron commented on the video, showing him listening to Trump without any distractions, sitting on a couch on the sidelines of the summit. And usually composed Angela Merkel actively gesticulated trying to get something across to the American president. He stood for a while and then continued walking.
Evidently, this was a summit of discord, which raises even more questions about the looming meeting with Kim Jong-un.
Donald Trump: «I think within the first minutes it will be clear if the talks will result in the indented effect. I will feel that immediately».
The US president has already set off for Singapore to meet with the North Korean leader.
Donald Trump was the last to come to the G7 summit and the first to leave it. Apparently, he saved some time on the allies to prepare for the meeting with Kim Jong-un. According to Trump himself, he has as many as 15 boxes with documents which he needs to read during the flight.
Alexander Khristenko, Nikolay Koskin, Vesti — Saturday News, American Bureau.