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Russia under pressure at G20 summit

By Tajuddin
In SPOTLIGHT
Nov 16th, 2014
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama share a tense greeting at the opening of the G20 summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama share a tense greeting at the opening of the G20 summit

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Russia has been rebuked by Western leaders about its role in the Ukraine crisis, at a G20 summit in Australia.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he needed to “get out of Ukraine”.

US President Barack Obama said Moscow’s “aggression” in Ukraine was a “threat to the world”, while the UK threatened more sanctions unless Russia stopped “destabilising” its neighbour.

The two-day summit in Brisbane is focusing on promoting economic growth.

World leaders are expected to elaborate on plans agreed by G20 finance ministers in February to boost global growth by 2% in five years.

Frosty handshake

However, Saturday – the first of the two-day summit – was dominated by Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting government forces in eastern regions.

Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russia of sending military forces across the border, something the Kremlin denies.

The EU imposed sanctions when Russia annexed Crimea in March and has added further measures since.

Before the G20 summit began, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said there would “have to be a very different relationship” between Europe and Russia if “we continue to see Russian troops” inside Ukraine, adding that there was “the potential for further sanctions”.

Mr Cameron later held a private meeting with Mr Putin. The two discussed “rebuilding relations”, Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The Russian president faced a frosty reception from Canada’s Mr Harper.

“I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Mr Harper told him, the Canadian leader’s spokesman said.

President Obama said the US was at the forefront of “opposing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a threat to the world”.

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