Australian PM to have 'robust' talk with Putin

2014-11-08 11:49
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Saturday he would have a "robust" conversation about downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in Beijing.

The Kremlin confirmed on Friday that Putin will meet Abbott, who last month promised to confront the Russian president over the downing of the plane, at a summit in the Chinese capital.

"I am going to have a very robust conversation with him," Abbott told reporters in Melbourne.

"But the conversation will be, as I have said, about our absolute expectation that Russia will be as good as its word, that it will fully cooperate with the investigations that are under way and that it will do what it can to ensure that justice is done."

The meeting is expected to be on 11 November, the second day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

"It will be short," Putin's top foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov told reporters.

Last month Abbott vowed to "shirtfront" Putin over the downing of the passenger jet over rebel-held Ukraine in July, in which 38 Australian citizens and residents died.

"Shirtfront" is an Australian Rules Football term in which a player charges an opponent.

Abbott said on Saturday he would be seeking Putin's personal assurance that "this is not an issue which Russia now expects to be forgotten, that this is not an atrocity which Russia thinks can be swept under the carpet".

"Thirty-eight Australians were murdered and I will speak for our dead, I will speak for our nation, I will speak for decency and for humanity in stating to the Russian president he owes it to us, he owes it to our common humanity to ensure that justice is done," Abbott said.

Australia and the United States have accused Russian-backed rebels of shooting down Flight MH17 using a missile supplied by Moscow.

Russia has repeatedly denied the claim and pointed the finger at Kiev over the disaster, which killed all 298 people on board.

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  vladimir putin  |  australia  |  russia  |  ukraine

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