A Russian newspaper columnist has demanded Prime Minister Tony Abbott pull his head in over his shirtfront threat to Vladimir Putin.
“A disturbed mind crying out for therapy”: that’s a Russian newspaper’s summation of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s threat to “shirtfront” President Vladimir Putin in Brisbane.
Mr Abbott grabbed global headlines for his tough talk ahead of the Russian leader’s expected attendance at the Group of 20 meeting next month.
He backed away from the aggressive sports term on Tuesday but insisted he would hold robust talks with Mr Putin over the “murder” of 38 Australians when the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
In an open letter, published on Pravda online, which is considered a mouthpiece for the Russian government, columnist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has demanded Mr Abbott pull his head in.
“Like any bully there comes a day when you pick on the wrong person, get your teeth smashed in and go running home to mummy blabbering like a ninny,” he wrote.
The threat was the “most crass example of stupidity the world has seen since the USA, the UK and Australia murdered Iraqi civilians in an illegal and criminal series of war crimes”.
“If you seriously think you can physically confront your guests and assault a visiting head of state and walk away freely, then you are mistaken,” he said.
He said Mr Abbott had rendered himself liable for prosecution for criminal intent and incitement to violence.
Mr Bancroft-Hinchey warned the Australian leader should not pre-empt the investigation into the MH17 plane wreck.
“Wait for the inquiry before making your odious accusations and sounding like a foul-mouthed, despicable, pith-headed and uncouth, loutish oaf,” he said.
The Melbourne-based Herald-Sun newspaper returned fire with an editorial published in English and Russian saying Mr Putin has “blood on his hands” and should stay away from the G20 gathering in Brisbane.
The News Corp Australia outlet condemned Russia’s backing of Ukrainian separatists – who are alleged to have shot down the plane and hampered the retrieval of human remains, adding to grief of families.
“Be very clear, most Australians do not want you to visit our country,” the paper said.
“You must stop evading responsibility for the atrocity and humbly apologise on behalf of your nation.”
The final findings of an investigation into MH17’s fate are still to be released.