Following last week's (humiliating for the US) APEC meeting in Beijing, in which the BRIC nations clearly distanced themselves from the "developed world" and the topic of the "Russian invasion of Ukraine" was largely missing as it is clearly not in the interest of the Pacific nations to warmonger when the two key nations, Russia and China are obviously not complying with the western media 'straight to populism' narrative, it was time for another major world summit, this time in the quite "western" Brisbane, Australia.
It was here that the G-7 part of the G-20 nations seized the opportunity to quickly pivot against Moscow and remind Europe that the reason why Europe is in a triple-dip recession (if one removes the GDP "boost" from hookers and blow) is because of Russia's "take over" of east Ukraine, ignoring the reality that it was the US State Department's Victoria Nuland that incited the Kiev coup and the west that imposed the "costly" sanctions on Russia which have hurt Germany and Europe just as badly. This was all largely lost on the local, as outside the summit, Ukrainian Australians staged an anti-Putin protest, wearing headbands reading "Putin, Killer".
It was a full court press from the start: as the NYT reports, "at a speech at a university in Brisbane, Mr. Obama called Russia’s aggression against Ukraine a “threat to the world, as we saw in the appalling shootdown of MH-17, a tragedy that took so many innocent lives, among them your fellow citizens,” a reference to the Australian citizens and residents who were killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down in eastern Ukraine.
“As your ally and friend, America shares the grief of these Australian families, and we share the determination of your nation for justice and accountability,” Mr. Obama said."
This charade was set to continue Sunday, when leaders from the European Union planned to meet with Mr. Obama to discuss Ukraine, among other issues, said Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council. He said the European Union was committed to finding a political solution to the crisis.
“We will continue to use all the diplomatic tools, including sanctions, at our disposal,” he said.
Indeed, as Reuters adds "Western leaders warned Vladimir Putin at a G20 summit on Saturday that he risked more economic sanctions if he failed to end Russian backing for separatist rebels in Ukraine."
But perhaps the best confirmation that all the G-20 meeting was nothing but a giant populist photo-op comes from Bloomberg which reports that "Russian President Vladimir Putin got a blunt message when he approached Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a handshake at today’s Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
“I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper told Putin, the prime minister’s spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an e-mail.
Putin’s response to the comment wasn’t positive, MacDonald said, without elaborating. Putin and Harper talked briefly, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“Indeed Harper told Putin that Russia should leave Ukraine,” Peskov said by phone today in Brisbane. “Putin told him that this is impossible because they are not there.”
Asked about the tone of the meeting between the two leaders, Peskov said “it was within the bounds of decency.”
Say no more.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, walks past Canadian Prime Minister
Stephen Harper, left, during a welcoming ceremony at the G-20 summit in Brisbane.
Yet at the end of the day, captioned photo-op or not, one wonders how much of all the front-page drama is even remotely real when every single time the west goes on the "offensive" against Putin with "costs" just to have a convenient scapegoat for Europe's ongoing depression, one hears in the back of one head the following exchange:
Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir"