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Canadian PM Says Russia With Putin Shouldn't Rejoin G7

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Russia should not be allowed back into the Group of Seven (G7) as long as Vladimir Putin is president.

Harper said in an AP interview on June 4 that he didn't expect the G7 to ever allow Putin to return and Canada would "very, very strongly oppose Putin ever sitting around that [G7] table again."

The G7 suspended Russia from the grouping last year over its illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and Moscow's involvement in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Harper's comments come ahead of the G7 summit in southern Germany on June 7-8.

He added that "Russia is more often than not trying deliberately to be a strategic rival, to deliberately counter the good things we're trying to achieve in the world than for no other reason than to just counter them."

Harper said Russian foreign policy was "to say black is white even though everyone knows the contrary" and that as long as they will "treat us like we are all stupid, there really is no point in having a dialogue with them."

Based on reporting by AP

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