No shirtfront but Abbott asks Putin for MH17 apology

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has asked Russian president Russian president Vladimir Putin to formally apologise for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July.

Mr Abbott, who last month famously vowed to "shirtfront" Mr Putin, said Russia should also pay compensation to the families of the 298 people who died in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, including 38 Australian citizens and residents.

Mr Abbott held a 15-minute private meeting with Mr Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Beijing.

Asked if Mr Abbott managed to "shirtfront" the Russian leader over the issue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "It appears that he did not try.", the ABC reported.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said he told Mr Putin he should follow the "precedent" set by the United States when it accidentally shot down an Iranian civilian aircraft in 1988.

A statement from Mr Abbott's office said the Prime Minister had "observed that when the United States had inadvertently shot down a civilian aircraft, it had duly apologised and made appropriate restitution".

"He commended the precedent to President Putin," the statement said.

"The Prime Minister told Mr Putin that Australia was in possession of information suggesting that MH17 was destroyed by a missile from a launcher that had come out of Russia, was fired from inside eastern Ukraine and then returned to Russia."

 


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