As US President called G-7 countries to admit Russia, French president Emmanuel Macron said European members "unanimously oppose" Russia's entry.
"I have been Russia's worst nightmare," Trump said, adding, "but with that being said, Russia should be in this meeting," the US president said as he left for the G7 meet. Trump's move was backed by Italian PM Minister Giuseppe Conti which is a G7 member.
Le dialogue, encore et toujours. Échanger, tenter de convaincre, sans cesse, pour défendre les intérêts des Français et aussi de tous ceux qui croient que le monde ne se construit qu'ensemble. Avec le Président américain, avant l'ouverture du G7. pic.twitter.com/7iI2rtAoEN
"We are in agreement that a return of Russia to the G7 cannot happen unless substantial progress is made in terms of the problems with Ukraine," Merkel said.
The G7 nations had ended Russia's membership after it annexed Crimea in 2014, the group was formerly known as G8. The US president strongly backed Russia's entry, saying: "Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?
"I would recommend - it's up to them. But Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it."
French President Emmanuel Macron's office said European members of the G7 will "unanimously oppose US President Donald Trump's call for Russia to be readmitted into the club".
Reports said British PM Theresa May was also against Russia's entry.
Russia's entry has been a sticking point with Europeans with reports of Russians allegedly involved in poisoning an ex-spy in Britain which led to several European countries recalling their diplomats from Russia with British PM Theresa May taking a tough stand for renewed international pressure on Putin to address the issue including the Crimean annexation.
Both France and Germany opposed Russia's entry into the elite club.