MOSCOW, November 13 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is unlikely to “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin during their upcoming meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie told Sputnik Thursday.
“I wouldn’t think that with the background of [Russian] president [Vladimir Putin], it will be smart of the PM to shirtfront your president, let’s put it that way,” Jacqui Lambie said.
Abbott earlier promised to have blunt discussions with Putin during the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane over the Malaysian passenger jet downed over eastern Ukraine in July, threatening to “shirtfront” Putin, a term used in Australian football to describe a player knocking another down to gain control of the ball. Senator Lambie expressed hope the two leaders can find consensus over the disputed issues, particularly the downing of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft in eastern Ukraine, which killed 38 Australian citizens.
“I think many Australians are sure that your president certainly didn’t press the button,” Lambie said, pointing out that Canberra’s rhetoric over the catastrophe “has to do with Mr. Abbot’s leadership.” Mr. Abbott’s loud words against Russia might be an attempt to divert attention from domestic issues, the senator suggested, adding the Australian prime minister should instead “[get] on [with] running a country and getting some of those issues dealt with.”
Lambie also expressed hopes the two leaders are “able to fix their problem between the two of them, hopefully our PM will extend an olive branch to president Putin.”
Putin and Abbott are due to meet during the G20 summit and already had a brief conversation at the APEC summit in Beijing earlier this week. The Kremlin stated there were no “harsh words” between Putin and Abbot.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near Donetsk on July 17. All 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members, were killed.
Australian Senator Praises Putin's Counterterrorism Efforts, Calls to Join Anti-IS Forces
Australian Senator Jacqui Lambie praised the Russian president’s stance over fighting Islamic extremists and hopes the upcoming meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will discuss Moscow’s participation in the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), Lambie said in an interview with Sputnik Thursday.
“I'm very impressed personally with [Russian] president [Vladimir Putin],” Lambie told Sputnik, stressing that “when comes to fighting Islamic extremism, he held very solid ground in that area and I congratulate him [for] that.”
Lambie added that, in the fight against Islamic extremists, “we need to get on top of that and we need to do it now.”
She also noted that unlike Australian politicians, Putin’s words have much more value and bring about action.
“What he says is what he cares about and what he does. And I respect him for that,” Lambie told Sputnik. “The more countries are involved in shutting the Islamic extremism down, the better off we will be in the long run.”
Commenting on other issues to be discussed by the two leaders at the upcoming G20 summit in Australia, Lambie said Abbott and Putin can discuss «the democratic process that we are living, and keeping the nations safe, and hopefully opening the line of communication on trade between Russia and Australia and Tasmania.”
Relations between Russia and Australia soured after Canberra imposed several rounds of targeted sanctions against Moscow over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, an accusation Russia has repeatedly denied. Australia responded to the crash of the Malaysian airplane with expanded sanctions against Russia. In August, Russia imposed a one-year ban on food imports from Australia and several other countries.