John Howard says if Russia is to feel the impact of global condemnation over its actions in Crimea, it should be barred from major global meetings.
Former prime minister John Howard has endorsed barring Russia from the G20 meeting in Brisbane, saying Australia needs to hit Moscow where it hurts.
The federal government has announced sanctions and travel bans against a dozen Russians and Ukrainians in response to Moscow’s takeover of Crimea.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop won’t name those targeted or speculate on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could be blacklisted from the G20 meeting in November.
But Australia’s second-longest-serving prime minister said barring Russia from major global gatherings should be an option.
“I personally think that every consideration should be given to isolating Russia from certain international forums,” Mr Howard told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
“If there is to be any impact made, it has to be in areas where it really hurts.”
But he said that didn’t mean “belligerent” military action against Russia.
Ms Bishop wouldn’t be drawn on whether Australia’s sanctions could affect President Putin’s visit, saying the G20 meeting was well down the track.
“There’s a lot of water to pass under the bridge,” she said.
Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gary Quinlan, said the crisis in Ukraine must be resolved peacefully, and it wasn’t too late for Russia to commit to finding a solution.
Russia is disappointed Australia has opted for sanctions and hasn’t used its non-permanent member status at the UN Security Council to address Russian concerns about Ukraine’s new political rulers.