Tony Abbott’s threat to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin has been labelled as “immature” by a Russian embassy official, who pointed out while Abbott may be a fit cyclist, the Russian president was a judo champion.
Embassy second secretary Alexander Odoevskiy also told Guardian Australia that the west, including Australia, had lost interest in the investigation into the crash of MH17, with Abbott preferring instead to play politics and conduct “megaphone statements and muscle flexing”. He also accused Bill Shorten of “unfriendly language”.
Stan Sharkey Matraville
Vladimir Putin should consult Joe Hockey for advice on what to expect when our great leader confronts him. Smokin’ Joe could tell him about what happened when he was hit by our boxing expert of a Prime Minister at rugby training at uni. Anyway l think that Mr Abbott could only blue-tie Putin when they meet.
After reading Peter FitzSimons’ articles on brain damage to athletes such as footballers and boxers who have had head contacts, I have been wondering if our old boxing champ Mr Abbott should have a brain check. There is evidence from many of his pronouncements that he may have damage in this area.
Ben Fisher Strathfield
Tony Abbott running Canberra, his “shirt-front” challenge to Vladimir Putin, brings to mind the saying “the loonies are in charge of the asylum”. It is a shame that during Mr Abbott’s academic and sporting pursuits, nobody appears to have taught him the importance of basic good manners.
Allan Skates Booral
Not only was the comment immature and undiplomatic, it is symptomatic of a general schoolyard bully nature. It is also absurd that the former blue for boxing take on the judo-trained ex-KGB officer. The idea of Russia being worried about Australia shirt-fronting it is equivalent to Australia being worried about East Timor threatening to shirt-front Australia.
Gavin Dimery Dusodie
Onya, Tone! None of that fancy foreign diplomacy for us Aussies. Bring on a bit of biffo. It’s the Austrayan way.
“We all feel their loss and it’s important to choose language that is sober and carefully chosen,” the Labor shadow foreign spokeswoman told ABC radio.
“Many Australians will find it difficult to welcome Vladimir Putin to Australia but it’s important that we behave in a way that shows how seriously we take this matter and how soberly we expect the Russian government to deal with issues like continuing access to the crash site.”
Overnight, the president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian government did not intend to respond to Abbott’s “colourful language”, but that as a part of the G20, the Russian president was “free” to visit the summit in Brisbane.
But Peskov also said Putin had yet to confirm his visit to Australia in November even though last week Joe Hockey confirmed Putin would be coming.
“Russia is a part of G20 and the Russian president is free to visit the summit in Australia,” Peskov said.
“His visit isn’t going to be a bilateral visit upon the invitation from the Australian side.
“As soon as Mr Putin confirms his visit we’ll make a relevant statement. The Russian government does not intend to respond to Mr Abbott’s colourful language.