Russian participation in the G7/G8 remains a vital foundation for dialogue and economic prosperity. Since Russia’s exclusion, the void has remained unmatched.
The To prohibit on Russian Participation in the G7, and for other purposes Act (H. R. 8259) – introduced in the House on 09/15/2020 – prohibits federal funding towards supporting or facilitating Russia’s participation in a proceeding of the Group of Seven or reconstituting Russia’s position in the Group of Eight. The terminating criteria are varied and are specified by Section 1 (b). The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Representative Meeks, G. W [D-NY-5] and is co-sponsored by 18 other representatives.
Prohibits federal funding in the support or facilitation of Russia in a proceeding of the Group of Seven and its reconstitution in the Group of Eight (Section 1 (a) – Limitations).
The termination of (a) is determined by criteria set forth in part (b), including per the consultations with relevant legal entities and intelligence agencies judging the nature of alleged Russian interference in the internal affairs of the US and its key partners and allies.
The act assesses deemed occupations in the regions of Crimea, South Ossetia, and Transnistria as being tied to its termination (b)(2).
Includes the alleged program that incentivizes the killing of US and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan as an indicative challenge and threat posed by Russia that is deemed necessary to counter. This is evaluated by the submission of a report to the appropriate congressional committees (Section (1)(c) – Report) by the Secretary of State.
Since Russia was expelled from the Group of Eight six years ago, it has become increasingly apparent that solving complex world problems without Moscow’s cooperation is a futile matter. As the world continues to face unprecedented levels of instability, the potential for re-kindling Russia-US relations by taking the path of the intergovernmental body of the G7, has become an enticing option. Since the optimistic approach of “common sense” regarding Russia’s re-joining envisioned by US President, Donald Trump, a select number of US policymakers have moved towards the opposite pole.
Rep. Meeks and his co-sponsors have taken an approach contrary to the values of cooperation and are making détente and foundational dialogue with Russia even more complicated with the introduction of the Prohibition on Russian Participation in the G7, and for other purposes Act. While it has become clear that Russia has learned to engage with this new reality and yet simultaneously remained open about the possible restoration of the G8, the implications of tarnishing this pathway for the country creates a greater sense of distrust and pessimism from Russia vis-à-vis the US as the latter attempts to approach it from potentially novel ways in the future.
The vision and purpose of this bill are alarmingly short-sighted and flawed and serves to antagonize rather than pacify, given the already minimal devotion of resources to Russia’s participation. This is evident by the conditions set forth in Section 1 (a) that disregard the deemed regional interests of Russia in its geopolitical periphery. Furthermore, the inclusion of the alleged bounty program as a rationale for punishing Russia, despite a detailed review of all available intelligence finding no evidence for such a program's existence, demonstrates outdated and irrelevant methods of identifying threats and challenges. Ru-PAC stands firmly against the position of Rep. Meeks and his co-sponsors.
For Ru-PAC’s stance on trade and related issues, visit the “Issues” section on our website. This policy brief has been compiled by the Russian Public Affairs Committee (Ru-PAC) in the period of December 2020.