Former US diplomat Christopher Hill says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to the G20 should stand despite the Ukraine crisis.
A former senior US diplomat who compares Vladimir Putin to Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic says the Russian leader should be invited to the G20 summit.
Christopher Hill is a former US assistant secretary of state and special envoy to Kosovo who was involved in unsuccessful talks with Milosevic to accept a NATO settlement in 1999.
Reflecting on the Russian incursion into Ukraine, Mr Hill said he saw some parallels between Mr Putin and the late Yugoslavian president, who was charged with war crimes.
“When you consistently lie to the international community don’t be surprised if you get compared to Milosevic,” he told AAP on Thursday.
“I put Putin in that category.”
However, asked whether Mr Putin should be banned from November’s G20 summit in Brisbane over Russia’s continued support for separatists in the Ukraine, Mr Hill advised against it.
“My rule of thumb when you see some person misbehaving is that it is better to have people in the space, letting them have it,” he said.
Mr Hill said when he had met with Milosevic after a period in which he had been isolated by world leaders “it was never a good meeting”.
The former ambassador said it was important that the G20 be successful and that point should also guide leaders in their decision.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will canvass the thoughts of G20 members about the Putin ban during a NATO summit in Wales.