Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014



Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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14 NEWS SUNDAY JULY 20 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 We cant let Putin wipe blood on his hands all over our G20 welcome mat Dont invite this bully here Vladimir Putins assertion that the atrocity was somehow Ukraines fault, not Russias, for failing to bow out of the conflict in the first place, was beyond pathetic Picture: AFP IN four months time Aus-tralia is meant to be rollingout the red carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The same man whose government is entirely and directly complicit in the murder of 298 civilians on Malaysia Air Flight 17 is meant to be heading to Brisbane to represent Russia at the G20 talks. He will receive a frosty welcome, and so should he, if he is still permitted to come at all, as under Putins tenure Russia looks more and more like a pariah state rather than a trustworthy nation which deserves to occupy a place at the worlds peak economic forum. What happened on Friday 30,000 feet above Ukraine was the second-worst terrorist attack on Australian civilians, claiming 28 lives, putting it behind Bali and ahead of September 11 in terms of its toll. The only crime these people committed was to go on holiday and for that they became casualties of war. It is a war which has absolutely nothing to do with them. A war which for some inexplicable reason they happened to be flying over, despite the fact that two cargo jets have been shot down in that exact same airspace at a similar altitude in recent weeks. The people who pulled the trigger on the Buk M2 anti-aircraft missile which killed 28 of our citizens are funded, armed and advised by Moscow. Russia wants Ukraine returned to the motherland, as it was under Soviet rule and before the 1917 Revolution. Many Ukrainians on the countrys eastern flank identify as Russian, and it was the pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels, armed and advised by Moscow, who are responsible for the terrorist atrocity which transpired. Especially damning is the transcript which emerged on Friday of a pro-Russian Ukrainian rebel discussing the shooting down of the plane with a Russian defence official. As the Russian asks for more details as to its being a civilian aircraft, the Ukrainian replies that if it was, it shouldnt have been in their airspace anyway, and that it may have been carrying spies. The two explanations provided by Moscow for what happened on Friday are beyond pathetic. The first is Putins assertion that the atrocity was somehow Ukraines fault, not Russias, for failing to bow out of the conflict in the first place and accede to Moscows brazen and illegal annexation of what is now a sovereign state. The second is the dissembling nonsense from the proRussian Ukrainians that the whole episode can be written off as a bit of an unfortunate mix-up, that they had acted thinking it was a cargo plane, and no harm was intended. This appalling whoops-adaisy defence is an insult to all those who perished and will hold no sway in the west. To his credit, and with thebacking of the Opposition, Tony Abbott spoke with force and clarity from the get-go when he told Parliament on Friday morning: This looks less like an accident than a crime. Canberra has also been firm in urging a binding UN resolution calling for a full and impartial investigation into this act of terror. There should be no role in Russia for this investigation either. This is not a country which does a good line in transparency. Just think back to the Kursk tragedy in the year 2000, when at a press conference for relatives of the sailors who perished on that submarine, a mother demanding answers was tranquillised mid-sentence by a KGB agent who stuck a syringe into her shoulder. A lot can and will happen between now and the scheduled G20 talks in November. When the Ukrainian drama began to unfold a couple of months back, Tony Abbott was already fielding questions about whether Putin would still be welcome here given Moscows aggression towards an independent nation over which it no longer had any legitimate territorial claims. Abbott argued, rightly, that the G20 was an economic forum, not a strategic one such as NATO, and that there were benefits for Australia and other like economies in giving Russia a seat at the table in Brisbane. Obviously there are very grave concerns about the behaviour of Russia in the Ukraine and I can understand why the G7 leaders were reluctant to sit down with President Putin at this time, Mr Abbott said at the time. But when it comes to the prosperity of the world, when it comes to the management of international finances, when it comes to harmonisation of taxation rules, when it comes to trying to promote global growth, I think it is best if we can include Russia. So at this point of time Im expecting Russia to be well and truly part of the G20 in November. That was then but this is now and Mr Abbott was much more circumspect when the same question was being put to him two days ago. Given the extent of Russias complicity in this outrage, and its utter indifference at the wests muted diplomatic approach to its intervention in Ukraine thus far, you would strongly suspect that the mood of the Australian people will be firmly against hosting Putin on our soil. It would be akin to finding out after the Bali bombings that instead of being a friend in ensuring the swiftest and most absolute form of justice for the bombers, Jakarta had been secretly advising and funding the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists who killed 88 of our people. Putin supports terror. He has blood on his hands, and no place here.

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