Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump’s suggestion that Russia be readmitted to the Group of Seven (G-7) nations:
“Vladimir Putin chose to make Russia unworthy of membership in the G-8 by invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea. Nothing he has done since then has changed that most obvious fact. Every day, Russian-led separatist forces are killing Ukrainians in the Donbass. Every day, Putin's forces are helping the Assad regime slaughter the Syrian people. And every day, through assassinations, cyber-attacks, and malign influence, Russia is assaulting democratic institutions all over the world.
“The President has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies. Those nations that share our values and have sacrificed alongside us for decades are being treated with contempt. This is the antithesis of so-called ‘principled realism’ and a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world.”
Background: Senator McCain was one of the first lawmakers to call for Russia’s ejection from the G-8 following its atrocities against civilians in Chechnya. He introduced legislation in 2003 urging the president to suspend Russia's membership until the Russian government ended its assault on democratic principles and the rule of law.