Leaders 'sterner' on MH17: Abbott

By Mitchell Neems and AAP

This morning, Mr Abbott told 2GB he was reluctant to go into too much detail about the conversations, but admitted the Russian said "all the right things". "Now he has to be as good as his word and I will be speaking regularly to the Russian President to do my best to hold him to his word," the Prime Minister told 2GB. "I’m not going to have this conversation and say that’s nice, President Putin said everything will work out fine and just accept that. "I’m going to make sure as far as Australia humanly can, we insist on everything happen.

The mood among international leaders has become "firmer and sterner" in response to the downed flight MH17, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, after holding talks with several counterparts including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Abbott said Ukrainian government officials had now gained some access to the site in rebel-controlled territory, but the situation was still completely unacceptable. "The site is being treated more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation," he said. "The wreckage has been picked over, it's been trashed, it's been trampled.

Mr Abbott said he had made clear his "dissatisfaction" with Russia's handling of the disaster in a meeting with its Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev, who is in Sydney for a G20 trade ministers' gathering. "Russian-controlled territory, Russian-backed rebels, quite likely a Russian-supplied weapon - Russia can't wash its hands of this," the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister told reporters he did not wish to go into details about the conversation, but "he did say all the right things". "The challenge now is to hold the President to his word," Mr Abbott said.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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