A Russian embassy spokesman says Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s threat to “shirtfront” President Vladimir Putin is immature and unhelpful.

The Russians view Prime Minister Tony Abbott threat to “shirtfront” their president as immature.

After saying they didn’t officially reply to statements by Mr Abbott, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Canberra told AAP the prime minister’s language wasn’t helpful.

“We consider the recent statements tough talk, we consider it immature,” the spokesman said.

“Shirtfront” is a sporting term that means to charge into an opponent and knock them down.

On Monday Mr Abbott declared he would “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Brisbane in November over the shooting-down of flight MH17.

The embassy spokesman said Mr Putin was preparing to attend the multi-lateral meeting only.

“There has not been a request for bilateral meetings between Russian and Australian leaders so we are not exactly sure where and when Prime Minister Abbott would like to shirtfront President Putin,” he said.

The spokesman also said the term “shirtfront” seemed a bit outdated.

He also said it use was meant “for the ears of the Australians” because it would be difficult for foreigners to understand.

The Australian government and opposition are frustrated at a perceived lack of cooperation by Russia with the investigation into the July shooting-down of the Malaysia Airlines flight, which resulted in the deaths of 298 people including 38 Australians.