MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold meetings with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in China over the weekend, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said Friday.
"The Australians have made a formal request to meet during the APEC summit. We gave our consent," he said.
In October, Abbott said he was going to "shirtfront" Putin over the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in southeastern Ukraine, which the Australian leader claimed was carried out by "Russian-backed rebels."
Ushakov added that the meeting between Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Abe will be held on the sidelines of the summit when the official part is over. He also hinted that the issue of Putin's visit to Tokyo may be raised during the talks.
Putin will also hold separate meetings with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande next week, according to the presidential aide. Ushakov specified that the talks will take place during the November 15-16 G20 summit in Australia's Brisbane. A meeting between Putin and US President Barack Obama is not planned, but the two leaders will have an opportunity to talk on the sidelines of the event, Ushakov said.
The APEC forum of 21 Pacific Rim economies seeks to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The group's 26th summit began in Beijing on November 5 and will last until November 11. Putin will arrive to the summit on Sunday to take part in the last three days of discussions.