While it wasn’t exactly the shirtfronting confrontation Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised, he was direct in a 15-minute meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin overnight, saying that Australia has information suggesting flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile from inside Eastern Ukraine.
Abbott declared that if these sources were accurate, it would be a very serious matter, and referred the President to a precedent where the US had inadvertently shot down an Iranian civilian aircraft in 1988 and had agreed to pay $61.8 million in compensation.
During brief talks at the APEC leaders’ summit in Beijing, the Prime Minister told Putin that Australia was in possession of intelligence advocating a missile from a launcher that had come out of Russia, was fired from inside Eastern Ukraine and then returned to Russia, the SMH reported.
The meeting of the two heads of state was originally expected to take place on Australian shores at the G20 Summit in Brisbane this weekend.
However, after the Kremlin advised that it was “unlikely” Putin would engage Abbott in bilateral talks in Brisbane, Abbott obviously decided Beijing would be a more appropriate arena.
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