Donald Trump has called Russian President Vladimir Putin to tell him about his proposal to convene an international summit that would involve Russia, the Kremlin said.
The US president said on Saturday that he will postpone until the autumn a meeting of the G7 nations that he had planned to hold next month, and aims to invite Russia, Australia, South Korea and India.
Mr Trump told reporters the current make-up of the group is “very outdated” and does not properly represent “what’s going on in the world”.
The G7 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. Russia had been included in the gathering of the world’s most advanced economies since 1997, but was suspended in 2014 following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
The Kremlin said on Monday that Mr Trump told Mr Putin about his idea, but it did not offer any details of the discussion or say whether the Russian leader accepted the invitation.
The White House confirmed the call, saying the two men “discussed the latest efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and reopen global economies”.
“President Trump also reiterated the need for effective arms control,” the White House said, and added: “Additionally, the two leaders discussed progress toward convening the G7.”
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that Russia will not be included in the G7, disagreeing with Mr Trump.
Mr Trudeau noted Moscow’s “continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms”.
The Kremlin also said that Mr Putin thanked Mr Trump for a batch of US ventilators sent to Russia and the two leaders talked about steps their countries have taken to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The Russian president also congratulated Mr Trump on Saturday’s launch of two US astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, the Kremlin said.
The launch put the US back in the business of sending astronauts into orbit from home soil for the first time in nearly a decade — during which time it relied on Russian spacecraft to deliver its astronauts to the International Space Station.
The Kremlin said the two leaders spoke of the development of mutually beneficial co-operation in space and also talked about the need to intensify a US-Russian dialogue on strategic stability and steps to enhance mutual trust in the military sphere.