Harper tells Putin to "get out of Ukraine" in G20 handshake confrontation
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a short but stern conversation on the first day of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Brisbane, Australia.
“I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper told Putin, according to the Canadian Press.
The response from Putin was not positive; officials with the Prime Minister’s office did not specify other than indicating that it was a brief chat. Harper had no intention of talking to Putin at the summit, but that changed when he was approached by the Russian leader.
The summit is normally dedicated for topics revolving economic issues, however, the conflict over Ukraine has overshadowed the event. Tensions continue to rise with Russia due to its role in the ongoing conflict and the country’s escalation in military aggression worldwide.
At the summit, European leaders have threatened Russia with further sanctions if it does not cease supplying the rebels with supplies.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the host of the summit, has also harshly criticized Russia for supply weapons to the rebels – the same weapons used to shoot down Malaysian Airline Flight 17 over Ukraine in July killing all 298 passengers on board.
Just days before the G20 summit, Russia also sent its navy ships to Australia’s northern coast in Queensland, which was a matter that Abbott didn’t take lightly.
Russia continues to deny all accusations that it has supplied eastern Ukrainian rebels with weapons or that it has sent its own armed forces into Ukraine.
Feature Image: Vladimir Putin / Shutterstock