By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - Canada on Friday came out against the idea of Russia returning to the G8, saying it should not be welcomed back until it shows it is "committed to democracy" and the rule of law.
Canada has a "very clear position" on Russia and the G7, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told a press conference in Ottawa alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"Russia’s violation of international law in invading Crimea and annexing it and continuing to support the war in the Donbass is something we cannot allow to stand, and that is why Russia was expelled from the G7, because of that action," Freeland said.
The way for Russia to return to the G8 is "to leave Crimea and end the war in the Donbass," eastern Ukraine, she said. "It's very simple."
Freeland stressed that when Russia illegally took Ukraine, this was "the first annexation of territory of a European country by another European country since the Second World War."
Her remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump advocated Moscow's return to the group of the world's top economies -- the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan -- renamed the G7 after Russia’s departure.
Russia was expelled from the G8 in 2014 due to its illegal annexation of Crimea as well as its political and military support for separatists in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.
G7 leaders are set to convene in the French coastal town of Biarritz Saturday for a two-day summit.
Ukraine has been wracked by conflict in its eastern regions since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Some 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2014, according to the UN.
In addition to the UN, EU, and U.S., Turkey also does not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.