Above you see a photograph of seven men and a woman, they are the leaders of the so-called “G-8” nations: From left to right you have Japan, Germany, Russia, Britain, USA, France, Canada and Italy. One of these eight sticks out like a sore thumb, and it isn’t Germany because it’s represented by the only female. It’s Russia, in the person of Vladimir Putin.
Russia isn’t in the top 8 nations of the world when ranked for GDP. China, India and Brazil all have more valuable annual economic production than Russia does, yet they are excluded from the G-8 and Russia is included. If you evaluate GDP not in aggregate but in per capita terms, Russia is just a pathetic joke. Russia isn’t in the top 45 countries of the world for per capita nominal GDP.
More importantly, Russia doesn’t share the G-8 values. Not one — not one — of the other seven nations in the G-8 recognized Ossetia and Abkhazia as states after Russia annexed their territories from Georgia. Each and every one of these other nations condemned Russia’s outrageous act of imperialism against Georgia, Germany most vociferously. Putin recently went on Russia Today, the Kremlin’s state-sponsored propaganda network, to denounce the nations of the West and their values. He was particularly brutal in his attack on the USA, the leader of the G-8 and by far the most powerful country in the world, calling it a nation of racist mass-murderers. He painted Russia as being engaged in a heroic, lonely struggle against the evil of Western values in the modern world.
Which is all well and good. Putin can hate the West all he likes, after all he is a proud KGB spy who spent his entire adult life prior to the collapse of the USSR working hard to destroy the West. But why is his KGB fox in the G-7 chicken coop? Six of the G-7 nations (all but Russia and Japan) are members of a military alliance, NATO, whose formative purpose was to oppose Russian aggression in Europe. Isn’t it completely insane for this group to allow an unrepentant KGB spy to participate in their meetings?
As we reported not long ago, Russia doesn’t stack up to the other G-8 countries when viewed in terms of quality of life provided to its citizens. Here, once again, it’s the black sheep. The OECD has shown conclusively that Russia brings up a miserable and distant rear in every aspect of life that would matter to a G-8 citizen.
There’s only one possible legitimate reason for Russia to be in the G-8, and that would be if the other G-7 nations were going to use Russia’s membership as leverage to publicly press forward a human-rights agenda against Russia. But at the recent G-8 summit, the craven G-7 countries did not such thing. They ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on homosexuals, they ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on political dissidents like Alexei Navalny and Sergei Guriev and Garry Kasparov, and they ignored Russia’s barbaric support for the genocidal dictatorship in Syria.
So now, all the citizens of the G-7 nations must hang their heads in shame as Putin and his KGB minions laugh at us for being the fools we are.