G20 must become the G19 and expel Russia

Of course the G20 has to expel Russia.

G20 membership criteria have always been a little fuzzy. The European Union gets to attend, even though it is an international union, not a country. Spain is invited as a permanent guest, even though it ranks 14th largest economy in the world, at least according to the International Monetary Fund’s calculations of gross domestic product. Argentina is a member, even though it currently has the 31st largest economy in the world, and South Africa is also still in, even though it ranks 33rd.

Iran is the 17th largest economy in the world, according to the IMF, but that country isn’t invited, for obvious reasons.

But the most glaring reason that Russia should be promptly ejected is if Russia isn’t, Vladimir Putin will be eligible to attend the next G20 summit, held in Bali, Indonesia, beginning November 15. There is no way other world leaders are going to be able to sit next to Putin at a big conference table, or stand next to him during the traditional summit photo-op. You can’t denounce Putin as a maniacal, destructive autocrat and war criminal and then a few months later, treat him like just another world leader and have the traditional handshake.

When Russia annexed Crimea, the G8 turned back into the G7.

And for what it’s worth, the Kremlin is saying they don’t care if they’re expelled; Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, “The G20 format is important, but in the current circumstances, when most of the participants are in a state of economic war with us, nothing terrible will happen.” So expel them.

If your response to the Russian invasion is to make Russia a pariah state, make Russia a pariah state. Don’t do it halfway or with odd exceptions.

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