Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit Thursday Sept. 5, 2013 in St.Petersburg, Russia.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin flatly that he needs "to get out of Ukraine," when the two met at a Group of 20 summit of major economies in Brisbane.

A spokesman for the Canadian Prime Minister relayed the details of the encounter and, according to director of communications Jason MacDonald, "Mr. Putin did not respond positively."

Mr. Harper and leaders of other Group of 20 economies are meeting on Australia's northeast coast to find ways of spurring growth and creating jobs, but the debate is quickly taking on a more familiar theme: what to do about Russia.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Putin had arrived at the summit in an unrepentant mood Friday just as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was offering detailed reports on the troops and heavy weaponry Moscow is sending into eastern Ukraine, a violation of a ceasefire agreed to in September.

Mr. Putin, whose country has been feeling the effects of Western sanctions for months after annexing Crimea, accused the West of imposing unlawful penalties on Russia and said Moscow is prepared, if necessary, to wait out a "catastrophic" collapse in oil prices.

The Russian leader said the asset freezes, visa bans and measures preventing Russian companies from accessing Western financial markets and technology went against international law because only the United Nations had the right to impose them.

Mr. Harper's encounter with Mr. Putin came Saturday morning when the Canadian Prime Minister was speaking to a group of leaders.

The Russian Leader stuck out his hand.

Mr. Harper accepted the gesture but said to the Russian Leader: "I guess I'll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you, you need to get out of Ukraine."‎

World leaders on Ukraine

Story continues below advertisement

British Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, warned Russia will face even greater sanctions if it does not alter course in Ukraine.

"If Russia takes a positive approach toward Ukraine's freedom and responsibility, we could see those sanctions removed; if Russia continues to make matters worse, then we could see those sanctions increased. It's as simple as that," Mr. Cameron told reporters in Canberra, Australia's capital.

Mr. Putin used an ostentatious display of naval might to draw more attention this week, sending a convoy of four Russian ships steaming toward Brisbane, even while remaining in international waters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel played down any threat posed by the warships but joined other Western leaders in speaking out against Mr. Putin's conduct in Ukraine.

"What is concerning me quite more is that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is being violated and that the agreement of Minsk is not followed," she said, referring to the truce accord.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who wants to redirect discussion back to economic matters, sounded exasperated Friday. "Russia would be so much more attractive if it was aspiring to be a superpower for peace and freedom and prosperity, instead of trying to recreate the lost glories of tsarism or the old Soviet Union."

Story continues below advertisement

Putin vs. G20

Fen Hampson, director of the Global Security and Politics program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., said Mr. Putin appears to be trying to divide G20 members.

"What he may be trying to do is drive a wedge in the G20 between those who support Russia and those in the West who don't," Mr. Hampson said.

Although the more exclusive Group of Seven club of nations has kicked Russia from its ranks over Crimea, there is less unified thinking in the broader G20, which includes rapidly developing countries, such as Brazil, Russia, China and India.

Australia consulted G20 members on whether Russia should be excluded from the meeting after the Crimean invasion but did not find a consensus.

Mr. Putin is vulnerable, though. "His foreign policy strategy is politically popular; the financial market impact of sanctions is not, and Russia faces big fiscal problems owing to that, and owing to the collapse in energy commodity prices," Finn Poschmann, vice president of policy at the CD Howe Institute, said.

Story continues below advertisement

"Sharp, heavy sanctions do have an impact, and unified G20 sentiment on this would too," he said. "That is the stick -- but Mr. Putin cannot easily back down, for obvious reasons. However, a clear set of negotiated conditions, in return for a speedy end to sanctions, would help."

The G20 succeeded in its initial efforts to address the world financial crisis, but most of the continuing work on that front is the purview of central bankers.

Mr. Hampson says the G20 has been far less successful dealing with the macroeconomic and fiscal issues because these are heavily politicized areas of national responsibility. G20 leaders are trying to find ways to meet a pledge to increase their economies' combined growth by two percentage points by the end of 2020.

Mr. Abbott has vowed this meeting "will not be a talkfest" and is proposing several measures, including a "global infrastructure hub" that would help match projects with investors by cutting regulatory hurdles.

The world's top infrastructure banks have applauded the move.

Mr. Harper, who has announced his government will balance Ottawa's books next year after a string of deficits, is expected to offer G20 colleagues his insight into fiscal reform and his trade agenda.

Story continues below advertisement

With reports from Reuters, AP, Agence-France Press and Bloomberg News

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies