US President Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that Russia should be invited back into the G7, just days before a summit of the exclusive club of nations was due to kick off in France.

“I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in, particularly the G8, because a lot of things we talk about have to do with Russia,” Trump said at the White House when asked if he would want to see Russia back.

“I can certainly see it being the G8 again, if somebody would take that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about [it] very favourably,” he said.

Russia’s participation in what was then the G8 was cancelled following the annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014, and the club reverted to being the G7, comprised solely of democratic, open economies.

The group comprises, the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany Italy and Japan, and has existed since 1975. The next summit is this weekend in Biarritz, in southern France.

Trump has repeatedly blamed former US president Barack Obama for Russia’s exclusion from the club and even blamed him for Russia annexing Crimea.

In his latest remarks, Trump claimed Obama was “outsmarted” by President Vladimir Putin.