Russia has hit out at Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for ‘absurd statements’ and ‘irresponsible innuendoes’ about the MH17 disaster and conflict in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement, reported on the Itar-Tass news website, slamming Australia for accusing Russia of being responsible for the plane crash and the rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
‘It seems that burdened by their own oversized ambitions some members of the current Australian government have completely lost an adequate picture of the developments in Ukraine and around it,’ Itar-Tass quotes the statement as saying.
The ministry lashed Australia for suggesting its ‘humanitarian convoy to help civilians in the south-east of Ukraine can be used as a pretext for Russia’s armed invasion of the neighbouring country’.
‘Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has gone farther than others in making irresponsible innuendoes against our country even though one would think that her position presupposes building bridges between countries, not destroying them,’ the ministry said.
Ms Bishop escalated her criticism of Russia on Tuesday after talks with the US secretaries of state and defence.
She accused Moscow of ramping up its supply of weapons to the rebels as unarmed Australian and Dutch investigators tried to retrieve evidence from the Malaysia Airlines crash site.
‘On the very day that Australia was holding a national day of mourning to grieve the loss of so many Australian lives, Russia chose to impose sanctions on Australia,’ she said.