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President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.
Putin talks anti-ISIL cooperation with the West and relations with Turkey.
When talking about previous G20 2014 summit in Austalia I think Putin was exceedingly gracious when he said that the event was organized well and it was conducive of work, adding that he left early because he needed to beat the departure lines.
The reality was of course a little different, when ex-PM of Australia Tony Abbott snubbed Putin and announced ahead of the event that he would ‘frontshirt him’ – Australian slang for tackling him and beating him up. On a group photo from the preceding summit Abbott appeared to have been glaring like a shark at Putin, undoubtedly preparing to devour him. Similar behavior was displayed by Canada’s ex-PM Stephen Harper. We have already discussed on FT the reasons Harper was ousted, one of the biggest of them being his dissatisfactory foreign policy.
But in Australia it was much more hush-hush. In mid-September 2015 Abbott was quietly ousted by the internal coup led by Malcolm Turnbull, both as Prime Minister and leader of Liberal Party. Abbott, born in the UK to British father and Australian mother has seen the image and popularity of his party deteriorate in the past year, co-incidentally, right after he showed himself as an un-welcoming and un-gracious host at G20 2014. Abbott was also known among other things, for his anti-women remarks. It has been recognized that Abbott’s policies were a total failure. It remains to be seen what we can expect from Turnbull, but surely, it can’t get any worse than Abbott.
You may think this is a co-incidence, but there aren’t casual co-incidences in this world. The line-up of those who are losing their credibility, popularity and grip on power right after their attempt to snub Russia or Putin is quite representative. Canada’s Harper, Australia’s Abbott; look what’s happening to Obama and his ratings – he is becoming irrelevant very quickly; Merkel lost a huge amount of popularity and went from the completely respected leader of Germany to the one regarded with suspicion in her own country. Just food for thought…
Putin also talked about conflict in Donbass, Ukraine’s impending bankruptcy covered up by the West, and the fact that Russia is agreeing to restructure Ukraine’s debt, but will need West’s guarantees.
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