I love it! Recently Australia’s PM Abbott declared he would “shirtfront” Putin personally when he shows up at the G20. Putin didn’t come alone …
“I am inviting you to my house, but when you arrive I will meet you at the door and knock you flat over on your face.” This in essence is what Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had to say on the subject of Russian President Vladimir Putin being invited to this year’s G20 Summit in Brisbane in November. By contrast, at last year’s meeting in St. Petersburg, the Australian delegation was treated with every courtesy.
True, a lot has happened since 2013, with Abbott incensed by the loss of 38 Australian lives when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over disputed Ukrainian territory.
Abbott said initially that he would “shirtfront” Putin on arrival for the G20 meeting. A “shirtfront” is an especially brutal form of tackle in the Australian version of football, with the victim left broken and prostrate. Later the feisty Abbott amended his remarks to say he would engage in a “very, very robust discussion” with Putin. In response, the Russian embassy in Canberra noted that Abbott’s remarks were not only “immature,” but also that shirt-fronting had now been declared illegal in the Australian sport.
BRISBANE, Australia – Vladimir Putin is underlining his presence at a major summit of world leaders in Australia by stationing warships in waters off the country’s northeastern coast, prompting the Australian prime minister to angrily accuse Russia of trying to reclaim the “lost glories” of the Soviet Union.
The diplomatic drama, which has been simmering since a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists in July, threatened to overshadow Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s goal of keeping this weekend’s G-20 summit focused on economic growth.
In recent days, four Russian warships have entered international waters off the northeast Australian coast to coincide with Putin’s visit to Australia for the summit that brings together the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest industrialized and developing economies. Australia, in turn, sent three warships of its own to monitor them.
The Russian embassy said on Friday that Russia’s Pacific fleet was testing its range, and could be used as security for Putin.
Abbott was not impressed.