Russia Hits Australia's Julie Bishop for 'Absurd Statements' About MH17 and Ukraine Crisis
By Reissa Su | August 15, 2014 6:00 PM EST
Russia has slammed Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for her "absurd statements" and accusations about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and the Ukraine conflict. According to reports, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the Australian government has "completely lost an adequate picture" of what has been happening in Ukraine.
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and members of a Malaysian air crash investigation team inspect the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in a Ukrainian government-held city on Tuesday on the first leg of their final journey home to be reclaimed by their families.
The official statement criticised Australia for accusing Russia of being behind the MH17 plane crash and the rebellion in Ukraine. Russia said Australia may have been "burdened by their own oversized ambitions." The Russian foreign affairs lashed out at Australia and Bishop for suggesting that the humanitarian convoy to Ukraine may be used as a means for invasion. The ministry said Bishop has gone too far in making "irresponsible innuendos" against Russia.
Speaking with senior U.S. officials including Secretary of State John Kerry on August 12, Bishop said the door remains open to impose more sanctions against Russia. Australia is considering a push to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the G20 summit in Brisbane in November.
Bishop remarked if Russia intervenes with Ukraine using the humanitarian crisis, it will be viewed as a "transparent artifice." She had declared Australia will condemn such an act and any other effort of Russia to enter Ukraine.
The Australian foreign affairs minister went on to accuse Russia of continuing to supply weapons and personnel to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine despite the presence of unarmed Australian and Dutch forensic teams in the MH17 crash site. She claimed Russia sent more heavy artillery and armed personnel even while the conflict was going on.
In June, the Australian government has blacklisted 50 Russian entrepreneurs and 11 businesses after Russia's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.
The relationship between Russia and Australia has become increasingly frayed with tension as the Abbott government called for a UN resolution for an impartial investigation of the MH17 crash. The disaster had brought Australia in the middle of the conflict in Ukraine which has become a political struggle between Russia and the Western countries.
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