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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Putin Gets a Cool Reception From G-20.....

As President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia joined world leaders for the Group of 20 summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday, he faced criticism from President Obama and other leaders over the conflict in Ukraine.
When Mr. Putin approached Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, to shake his hand, Mr. Harper said, “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine,” according to Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Mr. Harper.
At a speech at a university in Brisbane, Mr. Obama called Russia’s aggression against Ukraine a “threat to the world, as we saw in the appalling shootdown of MH-17, a tragedy that took so many innocent lives, among them your fellow citizens,” a reference to the Australian citizens and residents who were killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down in eastern Ukraine.
“As your ally and friend, America shares the grief of these Australian families, and we share the determination of your nation for justice and accountability,” Mr. Obama said.
On Saturday, a spokesman for the Kremlin denied reports that Mr. Putin planned to leave the meeting earlier than planned because of the criticism. Mr. Putin will leave the meeting when “all the work is finished,” the spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov said on Kommersant-FM radio.
“Sanctions have been discussed actively and broadly at all bilateral meetings, but nobody is pressing,” Mr. Peskov said.
On Sunday, leaders from the European Union planned to meet with Mr. Obama to discuss Ukraine, among other issues, said Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council. He said the European Union was committed to finding a political solution to the crisis.
“We will continue to use all the diplomatic tools, including sanctions, at our disposal,” he said.
Last month, Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia told reporters that he planned to “shirt-front” Mr. Putin at the meeting, using a term that in Australian football means charging an opponent to knock him down and in rugby refers to grabbing an opponent’s shirt or collar.
“I am going to be saying to Mr. Putin: Australians were murdered,” Mr. Abbott said. “They were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian-supplied equipment. We are very unhappy about this.”
The two men politely shook hands on stage at the summit meeting on Saturday and exchanged words before posing for a photo, but there was no physical confrontation.