U.S. President Donald Trump told G7 leaders Crimea belongs to Russia because the peninsula’s residents speak the Russian language, U.S. media reported on Thursday.
During a G7 dinner on Friday, Trump also called Ukraine one of the most corrupted countries in the world and questioned why the Group of Seven leaders support it, Buzzfeed reported, citing two diplomatic sources.
“It was unclear if Trump was joking or signaling a dramatic change in the U.S. administration’s policy,’’ the media outlet said, adding that the White House did not respond to their request for comment.
Recently, before leaving to Canada,Trump told newsmen that it would be good to readmit Russia to G7.
He repeated this position later in an interview to Fox News after the summit.
The leaders of the G7 major advanced economies, the U.S., Germany, Japan, UK, France, Italy and Canada, gathered in Quebec for a two-day annual summit on June 8 to 9.
The group used to be called the G8 before Russia’s membership was suspended in 2014 after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis.
Crimea seceded from Ukraine and rejoined Russia in the spring of 2014 when over 97 per cent of the peninsula residents voted in favor of reunification in a referendum.
After the vote, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree on the rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatars and other peoples deported from the peninsula. (Sputnik/NAN)