The Russian Federation’s invasion of Crimea, aggression in Ukraine, and meddling in U.S. elections speak to a fundamental disregard for other countries’ sovereignty and democratic norms. As long as Russia fails to respect other nations’ territorial or democratic integrity, it shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the G-7, which is a meeting of the most influential nations in the world. Letting Russia back into the G-7 now, before it improves its behavior, would send the message that the world’s most influential nations will allow bad behavior to slide.
The Russian Federation — as one of the world’s largest and most important countries — should rightfully be part of the G-7 summit. Expelling Russia from the G-7 in response to its aggressive actions in Ukraine didn’t change its behavior, but did make the G-7 less effective as a meeting of the world’s most important leaders. Allowing Russia to return to the G-7 will make the summit more effective, as it’ll ensure that the G-7 summit brings all the key nations of the world together.