Albanese will Show Contempt to Putin at G20 Summit

The Ukraine Crisis has been raging for months, with no end. The fighting has displaced more than a million people and left nearly 10,000 dead. And in the midst of it all is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he will treat Putin with “contempt” if the two cross paths at the G20 summit in Indonesia later this year.

 

But Albanese doesn’t think his Russian counterpart will even attend the meeting.

 

“It certainly won’t be polite,” Albanese said bluntly in a Sky News interview on Thursday afternoon.

 

Fresh from returning from Ukraine and seeing the damage of Russia’s invasion first-hand, Albanese again called for the conflict to end and for Putin to withdraw.

 

Asked how he would treat Putin if they met in Bali at the G20, The prime minister said: “I certainly won’t be giving him the red carpet treatment that he’s become accustomed to.”

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“I’ll treat him with the contempt he deserves,” Albanese added.

 

The Australian leader’s comments come as tensions between Russia and the West continue to escalate.

 

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled a meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, citing Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine.

 

And on Wednesday, NATO announced that it would suspend all practical cooperation with Russia – though it stopped short of expelling Moscow from the alliance entirely.

 

 

Albanese said he “absolutely” supported the move by NATO, adding that Putin “needs to be isolated”.

 

The prime minister also called on Russia to end its “illegal occupation” of Crimea and to stop supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

 

“All of those things need to happen,” Albanese said.

 

Asked what Australia was doing to help end the crisis, Albanese pointed to the recent deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel to Ukraine as part of an international observer mission.

 

He also flagged the possibility of further economic sanctions against Russia, saying that Australia was working with its partners.

 

“We’re looking at a range of responses,” Albanese said.

 

The prime minister’s comments come just days after he returned from a trip to Ukraine, where he met with President Petro Poroshenko and other senior officials.

 

During the visit, Albanese toured the site of the MH17 crash – which was caused by a Russia-made missile – and laid a wreath in memory of the 38 Australians killed.

 

The prime minister said his trip had given him a “greater understanding” of Ukraine’s conflict, and Australia would continue to support Kyiv in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the country.

 

“We want to see a sovereign, independent Ukraine,” Albanese said.

 

“That’s in everybody’s interests.”

 

Share your thoughts in the comments below on his stance.

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