G7 or G8: Will Russia be readmitted to the club?
Both prior to and during the G7 summit Trump made the case for allowing Russia to return to the group. Macron said the proposal was worthy of consideration, but the other leaders rejected the idea in view of the situation in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Putin may, however, be invited to attend next year's G7 summit in the US as a guest. Things certainly aren't looking too bad for the Russian president, commentators conclude.
The absent protagonist
Putin hung over the summit like an invisible guest, Jutarnji list comments:
“The G7 meeting took place in Putin's shadow, which satisfied the vanity of the Kremlin and has been celebrated by the Russian state media for days. Although he didn't spend any time on the sunny beaches of Biarritz, the Russian president became one of the main protagonists and disruptive factors at the summit. US President Trump proposed allowing Russia to return to the G7, and while French President Macron didn't completely rule out the idea, he said it was too early for that. ... The sore point here is the Crimean Peninsula.”
Putin more comfortable with the G20 format
Radio Kommersant believes Putin has no desire to be reinstated right now:
“If the current wave of anti-Russian sentiment has abated in the US by the time the next summit takes place Putin could be invited to attend. But if not, the Kremlin won't be too bothered: it has become used to life without the G8. For Putin the G20 format is far more comfortable - or private conversations with Macron, Merkel or Trump. Putin has little enthusiasm for the prospect of having to listen to the aspersions cast by the young Canadian prime minister or for being in the minority - if not entirely isolated - on most issues on the agenda. For him international politics is increasingly a matter of prestige. And he wants to be treated with the respect he feels he deserves.”