During his meeting with fellow G7 leaders, President Donald Trump reportedly repeated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talking points about the annexation of Crimea.
Sources tell BuzzFeed News that Trump “told G7 leaders that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.”
The argument that Crimea should belong to Russia because most of its citizens speak Russian is an argument that has been frequently used by Putin as a justification for its annexation.
What’s more, Trump reportedly asked the G7 leaders why they were so insistent on standing up for Ukraine, which he described as “one of the most corrupt countries in the world.”
Russia was originally kicked out of the G8 in the wake of its 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea, which before had been a territory under control of the Ukrainian government.
Prior to the G7 meeting, Trump publicly declared that Russia should be readmitted to the group, and he also said that it’s well past time to get over the country’s annexation of Crimea.
“They threw Russia out,” Trump said last week. “They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”