Harper to Putin: Get out of Ukraine

posted at 2:31 pm on November 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Glenn Reynolds refers to this as “smart diplomacy – the real thing,” but it’s based on the very dumb diplomacy rolled out by Vladimir Putin over the past year. Brisbane, Australia hosts the G-20 meeting this week, and Putin decided to make a point by sending a war flotilla of the Russian navy to the waters north of Australia, in order to make the point that, er … he’s a reasonable guy, or something:

But it was clear that Putin’s actions over the past few days were top of mind for the leaders.

Abbott lashed out at the Russian leader for apparently flexing his military muscles by sending four Russian navy ships to stalk Australia’s northern coast in the days leading up to the G20 summit.

“Russia would be so much more attractive if it was aspiring to be a superpower for peace and freedom and prosperity, if it was trying to be a superpower for ideas and for values, instead of trying to recreate the lost glories of tsarism or the old Soviet Union,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Putin found himself snubbed as a result, although maybe not as much as he should have been:

Putin’s isolation was evident with his placing on the outer edge for the formal G20 leaders’ photograph. While Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping were met by Australia’s governor general and attorney general when they arrived in Brisbane, Putin was greeted by the assistant defense minister.

Despite being under intense pressure, Putin was all smiles, shaking hands with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The host had threatened to “shirt front”, or physically confront, Putin over the downing of MH17, in which 28 Australians died.

The chilly greeting led to a diplomatic irregularity — having a head of state wandering aimlessly looking for some personal contact. Normally the greetings and handshakes of world leaders get negotiated ahead of time by the diplomats of the nations involved to avoid embarrassment for either party. Putin, however, decided to put Canadian PM Stephen Harper on the spot, and immediately regretted it:

Harper spokesman Jason MacDonald told Canadian reporters Harper had been chatting with a handful of other leaders when Putin entered the room.

Putin approached Harper and stuck out his hand to shake the Canadian prime minister’s, said MacDonald.

After months of public condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military support for separatist rebels in Ukraine, Harper accepted the handshake with a blunt message.

The prime minister said: “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” recounted MacDonald.

“Mr. Putin did not respond positively,” he said, declining to offer any further details about their conversation, or whether there were any other similar comments by other leaders who were there.

The press flack for Putin claimed to be surprised by this version of events, insisting that Putin and Harper “greeted” each other. Perhaps they mean in the same manner that the Russian navy is “greeting” the north coast of Australia.

Putin complained at the G20 about the sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, claiming that they violate international law:

Cameron threatened Russia with further sanctions if it doesn’t resolve the Ukrainian conflict amid reports that Russian troops and tanks are flooding into the eastern reaches of Ukraine.

Harper has been a vehement Putin critic for months, with Canada and Russia trading a number of retaliatory sanctions.

He recently condemned the “continued penetration of Russian presence in eastern Ukraine and obvious actions to extend and provoke additional violence. That’s of great concern to us.”

Russia, meantime, took aim at France on the eve of the summit, threatening “serious” consequences if it fails to deliver a warship whose handover has been delayed by the events in Ukraine.

Putin also assailed his fellow G20 nations for imposing sanctions at all, saying in an interview with Russia’s state media that the measures violated G20 principles.

Coming from a man who amputated Crimea by military force and then tried to do the same in eastern Ukraine, complaints about economic transgressions against international law are almost as comical as his attempt to impress the G20. Without high oil prices to keep him and his cronies afloat, Putin may be too clumsy to survive in the long run. The Western-led effort to bring oil prices low needs to continue until Putin buckles under the strain, or his cronies look for someone more suited to the role of world leader.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

The tea party is supporting Soros cronies and Ukrainian Nazis.

The Wise Fox on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

So what do you think of that treaty Clinton signed with Ukraine? We swear to protect their borders, and they give up their USSR nukes.

DFCtomm on November 15, 2014 at 11:03 PM

“It’s not 1940. Nuclear power has completely changed the dynamic. Currently a war between major powers can’t be won,” “It will remain so until ME nations get a nuclear capability. They are crazy enough to play that game.”

DFCtomm on November 15, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Russia began openly violating the U.S./Russia I.N.F. treaty on intermediate range missiles this year. These missiles were outlawed in 1987 because they facilitate limited regional nuclear war.

This isn’t about major powers fighting each other.

Perspicacious on November 15, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Putin or his successor will try and invade Israel at a later date and will be totally destroyed supernaturally by God. By this time the USA will be so second rate that its not even mentioned in the Good Book directly. Great for Harper to stand up to little Nikita cause its not often that someone does.

garydt on November 15, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Or do you think because Putin has passed anti-gay legislation God has bestowed His Blessings upon Vladimir?

JFKY on November 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

At least it means Russia has more claim on divine favor than any country that’s going increasingly gay.

We are not the light on the hill. We are not the standard of morality. We are sailing into darkness on a ship of fools. And if Russia doesn’t want to follow us into the dark, good luck for the Russians and they should rule.

David Blue on November 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM

It was not a free country. Soros and the EU overthrew a legitimately elected government and installed a puppet regime giving away Ukraine’s resources. Putin was not going to allow a EU puppet state on Russia’s border and did what he had to do to defend his nation’s interest.

The tea party is supporting Soros cronies and Ukrainian Nazis.

The Wise Fox on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

And ur tinfoil hat is getting tighter by the day, impairing your thought process, or whatever’s left of it…and btw, f…ck Putin! I don’t believe in this Soros conspiracy theory idiocy, but even if true, then that’s his redeeming quality, it means for once he did something right and stuck it to the Russians and their derangeed Botox-filled caricature president, with his delusions of grandeur while presiding over a third world kleptocracy…

jimver on November 15, 2014 at 11:39 PM

This Wise Fox keeps yapping about the TEA PARTY and all of their present day actions. Where are they and what are they doing specifically? I never hear of them in the news. Is this Fox’s fantasy that they are running the nation? The only reason the House was against the Immigration Bill is that it does no secure the border and most conservatives don’t trust Obama’s promises.

garydt on November 16, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Or do you think because Putin has passed anti-gay legislation God has bestowed His Blessings upon Vladimir?

JFKY on November 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

At least it means Russia has more claim on divine favor than any country that’s going increasingly gay.

We are not the light on the hill. We are not the standard of morality. We are sailing into darkness on a ship of fools. And if Russia doesn’t want to follow us into the dark, good luck for the Russians and they should rule.

David Blue on November 15, 2014 at 11:30 PM

so, are you seriously saying that the anti-gay policies of ip that thug, Putin’s mean that there are no gays in Russia or smth? You sound like a the love child of Ahmadinejad and that Westboro Baptist dude, Phelps…well, then, why don’t u put yourself out of ur misery and move to the land of ‘moral purity’ already…may you live in interesting times in Siberia! :)…

jimver on November 16, 2014 at 12:06 AM

It was not a free country. Soros and the EU overthrew a legitimately elected government and installed a puppet regime giving away Ukraine’s resources. Putin was not going to allow a EU puppet state on Russia’s border and did what he had to do to defend his nation’s interest.

The Wise Fox on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

This should be remembered. Without Victoria Nuland’s five billion dollar coup, there was no fight. Putin was doing nothing about Ukraine till the Soros / EU / State Department coalition of subversion started the fight.

David Blue on November 16, 2014 at 12:07 AM

The tea party is supporting Soros cronies and Ukrainian Nazis.

The Wise Fox on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

I’m curious. Were you born a troll, or is it a learned skill?

Othniel on November 16, 2014 at 12:12 AM

The tea party is supporting Soros cronies and Ukrainian Nazis.

The Wise Fox on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

I’m curious. Were you born a troll, or is it a learned skill?

Othniel on November 16, 2014 at 12:12 A

Heh, he must be one of these :) …

jimver on November 16, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Talking around with some of the frackers here in West Texas last week, it sounds like the most optimistic say $52 is the profitability cut-off point, and they also have the option of cutting back on their more-expensive horizontal wells and focusing on the less-costly vertical wells. They’re also less productive, but the drillers would rather be hitting the big 1,000-barrel-a-day horizontal wells when the price of oil is in the $80-$100 range anyway.

Jon1979 on November 15, 2014 at 3:49 PM

If so, that’s better than what I read a couple of days ago in The American Interest or Business Insider, am pretty sure they said $60 (the profitability cut-off point).

jimver on November 16, 2014 at 12:40 AM

The Moronic Weasel on November 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Loves herself some fascists….what a surprise.

Athos on November 16, 2014 at 1:21 AM

The Moronic Weasel on November 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Clean-up in aisle 2, some petulant reprobate had an accident.

Athos on November 16, 2014 at 1:22 AM

Get out of London.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on November 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Clean-up in aisle 2, some petulant reprobate had an accident.

Athos on November 16, 2014 at 1:22 AM

Too bad he doesn’t have one.

LawfulGood on November 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Harper has a pair and Dear Leader does not. Hats off to Harper and let us keep drilling oil so we can Putin and his mafia out of business. Be fun to see the two French built Mistral carriers ordered by Russia be made into coral reefs.

Krupnikas on November 16, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Comment pages: 1 2