Saying that someone needed to talk to the Russian President ‘man to man’, Tony Abbott has volunteered to travel to Moscow to see if they can’t sort out this Ukraine mess over a beer and a few onions.
At the airport this morning, Mr Abbott said he reckoned he understood the Russian leader better than most. “He’s a small man that likes to take his shirt off, get out into the outdoors and get the testosterone pumping, so I think we’ve got a lot in common,” Abbott said. “I’m into riding bikes, whereas he’s more into riding wild horses bareback, but it’s basically the same thing”.
Mr Abbott said he was confident the meeting would go well. “We’ll break the ice with an arm wrestle, flex our pectoral muscles for a few minutes, he’ll make a joke about shirtfronting, I’ll have a gentle prod at his human rights record and then we’ll get down to the business of sorting out geopolitical disputes. I’m sure after chatting he’ll see that invading Ukraine isn’t what it’s cracked up to be”.
Abbott insisted his 2014 threat to ‘shirtfront’ Putin was taken out of misunderstood. “What I meant was to get in front of the Russian President with our shirts off, which is what we’ll be doing on this trip” .