But Maas told Rheinische Post he sees no chance of allowing Russia to return to the G7 until there is significant progress in resolving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine.
Russia itself could make the biggest contribution to become part of the G7 format again by contributing to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine, Maas said.
Russia is still part of the G20, a larger group comprising other emerging market economies.
“The G7 and the G20 are two judiciously coordinated formats. We don’t need the G11 or the G12 anymore, ”Maas said in reference to Trump’s proposal to invite not only Russia, but other countries to G7 meetings.
Maas described relations with Russia as “currently difficult” in many areas. “But we also know that we need Russia to resolve conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. It won’t work against Russia, only against Russia.
Germany, which took over the six-month rotating EU presidency on July 1, has played a mediating role in the conflict in Libya as well as in Ukraine.
“But Russia must also make its contribution, which is very slow in Ukraine,” Maas said. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Peter Cooney)