Turkey, India, China could be part of wider G7 group, Putin says
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Turkey, along with China and India, could participate in a wider format of G7 international group, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
"Expressing his reaction to this situation [Russia’s possible joining the G7 and the revival of G8] Erdogan said: ‘Why did not you raise an issue of Turkey joining as well?’" Tass quoted Putin as saying during a meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
"I believe that since Turkey purchased S-400 systems and is now safely protected from air threats, the work of Turkey will be certainly in demand and in place in such a format, taking into account its role in international affairs and in the region," the Russian president said.
Tensions between NATO allies the United States and Turkey spiked this year over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
The U.S. Congress suspended Turkey’s participation in the F-35 joint manufacturing programme and halted the delivery of the jets to the country after Ankara received its first shipment of S-400s in July, against U.S. officials' objections.
Turkey is looking to improve bilateral relations with China at a time when Ankara is embroiled in this dispute with Washington over its acquisition of the S-400s. During a visit to Beijing in July, Erdoğan called for cooperation in a wide range of areas, including defence, with China.