The Latest: Merkel doesn’t see readmission of Russia to G-7
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on Angela Merkel’s first question time session in the German parliament (all times local):
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is rejecting the idea of restoring the Group of Eight format of leading industrial nations, from which Russia was removed after its annexation of Crimea.
At her first question-and-answer session in parliament on Wednesday, Merkel was asked by a lawmaker from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, Michael Espendiller, whether it was right to throw Russia out of the G-8 and whether it would be good to revive the format.
Merkel responded that the Group of Seven leading powers, as it now is, is defined by having members who respect international law, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea was a “flagrant breach” of that. She said Russia’s removal was “unavoidable.”
She said Russia’s readmission to such a format is not currently feasible.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she expects “difficult discussions” at the Group of Seven summit in Canada later this week.
Merkel told lawmakers on Wednesday that Germany will work to ensure that the summit’s communique doesn’t fall below what was agreed at last year’s G-7 and Group of 20 summits.
She noted that, in the meantime, the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as imposing tariffs on allies’ steel and aluminum imports. She said that points to a “serious problem with multilateral agreements.”
Canada will host the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Friday and Saturday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will face questions in parliament from lawmakers on Wednesday, the first outing for a new format agreed by the governing coalition that took office in March.
Merkel is expected to address the Group of 7 Western powers’ summit in Quebec later this week and then face questions.
German chancellors haven’t previously interacted directly with lawmakers in the same way British prime ministers do at their weekly question time.
Merkel will now face questions three times a year, though some opposition lawmakers complain that the format is too inflexible and the event appears highly unlikely to emulate the bear-pit atmosphere of question time in London.