President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wants his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin present when he hosts a gathering of world leaders later this year for a G7 summit.
Trump said it was time for Russia to be allowed to rejoin the group, which was originally known as the G8.
'We have a G7. He's not there. Half of the meeting is devoted to Russia, and if he was there, it'd be much easier to solve. He used to be,' the president told Brian Kilmeade's FOX News Radio show.
Trump called it a 'common sense' decision.
'The problem is many of the things that we talk about are about Putin. So we're just sitting around wasting time because then you have to finish your meeting and somebody has to call Putin or deal with Putin on different things. And I say have him in the room. Have him in the room. It used to be the G8 from a kind - and I don't say deserving or non-deserving. I say common sense. Get things done,' he said.
President Donald Trump - seen with first lady Melania Trump at the National Shrine on Monday - said he wanted to invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next G7 meeting
President Trump has said he'd like to see Russian President Vladimir Putin a part of the G7 group after Moscow was suspended in 2014 for its actions in the Crimea
During President Barack Obama's time in office, Russia was suspended indefinitely from the G8 after it invaded the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. It declared the area part of Russia.
Trump praised Putin for saving American oil jobs.
'H helped us with the oil industry, which was good for him, too. But we got it up, and now we're going to save millions of jobs in Texas and North Dakota and other places, Oklahoma with millions of jobs. I mean, the oil now is sustainable,' Trump said.
In March Russia and Saudi Arabia engaged in a price feud that sent oil prices in a free fall. Both both countries are now close to deal on oil production that should help stabilize the market.
Trump and Putin spoke on Monday and the president invited him to the G7 gathering, The New York Times reported.
But other G7 leaders have expressed reservations about welcoming Putin back into the fold.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he opposed Russia rejoining.
'Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago,' Trudeau told reporters.
'Its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7 and will continue to remain out,' he noted
And a spokesman for the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, said Monday Britain opposed allowing Russia back into the group because his government had 'yet to see evidence of changed behavior which would justify readmittance.'
The United States is scheduled to host the next G7 gathering, which consists of the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
The meeting has been pushed back to September because of concerns about the coronavirus.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have made it clear they oppose Russia rejoining the G7
Trump also has proposed the leaders of Australia, India and South Korea join. All G7 leaders would have to agree to any expansion of membership but, as the host of the next summit, Trump can invite other world leaders to attend as a guest.
'I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world,' Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One on Saturday. 'It's a very outdated group of countries.'
President Trump originally wanted to host his fellow leaders in June at Camp David but that plan changed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated she would not attend.