Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Russia’s interference in Ukraine is an affront to international stability.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has again chastised Russia for bullying Ukraine but says Vladimir Putin is showing signs of better behaviour.
The Russian president spoke with Ukraine’s new leader, Petro Poroshenko, on the sidelines of World War II D-Day commemorations in France at the weekend.
Mr Abbott, who also spoke with Mr Poroshenko, says he hopes the meeting is a sign of a “return to normalcy” in the Russia-Ukraine relationship.
“Let’s hope that this can be the beginning of better behaviour,” he told reporters in Canada.
Russia’s recent interference in Ukraine is an “affront to international stability”, Mr Abbott said.
“This should stop. No country has a right to bully another country just because it can,” he said.
Mr Abbott has indicated he intends to allow Mr Putin to attend G20 talks in Brisbane later this year, despite his exclusion from other important international meetings.
The prime minister’s comments come after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper labelled Mr Putin an imperialist and “extreme nationalist”.
“This is an individual who clearly believes that, if he’s able, he has the right and the ability to invade another country, to alter borders through military force,” Mr Harper said.
Mr Abbott said Mr Harper’s comments were appropriate.
Mr Poroshenko has vowed to mend ties with Russia and end violence in eastern Ukraine.