Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Russia has behaved badly over the Ukraine but he’s hopeful it will improve before the G20 summit.

Russia won’t be pressured to stay away from the G20 summit in Brisbane as it is not a discussion about human rights and democracy, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

Russia has been criticised by many G20 nations including Australia, the United States and Canada for its action in relation to the Ukraine.

The situation in the Ukraine was raised during talks between Mr Abbott, who is president of the G20 for this year, and Canadian PM Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Monday.

Mr Abbott said it was clear Russia had behaved “very badly indeed” over the Ukraine.

He said he was hopeful Russia’s behaviour would improve in the lead-up to the summit in Brisbane.

But in any case the G20 was an “economic gathering” and it would be a pity if not all of the members attended, Mr Abbott said.

“It’s not a gathering of nations which are liked-minded on questions of alliance, on matters of democracy and the treatment of human rights and the rule of law,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of doing very good work.”

He said the challenge for G20 nations was to find things that united them rather than divided them.

Mr Harper said he had detected no inclination among G20 countries to expel Russia from the group.