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Putin could possibly be invited to G-7: Trump

Biarritz, France

US President Donald Trump says it's "certainly possible" he'll invite Vladimir Putin as a guest to next year's Group of Seven summit in the US, setting up a flashpoint with fellow nations who ejected the Russian leader over annexation of Crimea.

Mr Trump spoke in Biarritz, France, on Sunday as the day's session of the G-7 was set to get underway. He has previously called to fully readmit Mr Putin into what was once the G-8, while the bloc's fellow nations have balked at readmitting Russia, which was kicked out of the group over its hostilities in Ukraine.

The US will host next year's G-7. Mr Trump said that it's possible he'd invite Putin as a guest but doesn't yet know.

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"It's certainly possible, we'll see," Mr Trump said, after earlier noting that he and other G-7 leaders had discussed the matter on Saturday evening.

Mr Putin already has said at a news conference that if an invitation comes, he will be sure to consider it, RIA Novosti reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Mr Trump endorsed the idea of readmitting Russia to the G-7 last week. "I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in," he had said.

At a later meeting with Japan's Shinzo Abe, Mr Trump said it would be "advantageous" to have Russia back in the group, and that "some people agree with me and other people don't necessarily agree."

The UK, Germany, France and Canada all have dismissed the idea of re-introducing Russia as a full member, unless Mr Putin makes concessions on the continuing hostilities in Ukraine. "I do not want Russia to be reintegrated without conditions," French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters last week. "No weakness."

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, took aim at Mr Trump's musings about Russia in a G-7 press conference on Saturday, saying "under no condition can we agree with this logic" and that he'd rather invite Ukraine than Russia." BLOOMBERG