Bishop tells US not to reward Russia for 'bad behaviour'

Julie Bishop said Australia remains committed to seeking justice for the victims of MH17.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has urged Washington to hold Russia accountable for their bad behaviour for a number of global incidents over the last few years.

Ms Bishop is set to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in San Francisco tomorrow and will remind the US that Russia should not be let off the hook and escape responsibility.

Her concerns are aligned with critics from both sides of US politics following US President Donald Trump's recent meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last Monday.

"My message on Russia will be that the US should not reward Russia for their bad ­behaviour," she told The Australian.

“I am concerned that in the President’s aim to engage with Russia, as the President should, Russia will seek to escape responsibility for its past behaviour."

Ms Bishop said Australia wanted justice for the 283 victims, including 38 Australians, on board MH17 and attributed state responsibility to Russia.

She also told the publication it was "not just on MH17 but on the ­annexation of Crimea, its intervention in eastern Ukraine, what Russia is doing in relation to the Syrian ­regime’s use of chemical ­weapons, the likely role in the (Eng­land nerve agent) attack and growing evidence of cyber attacks".

Protest groups infuriated by Mr Trump will target the Australia-US Ministerial meetings on California's Stanford University campus involving Ms Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne.

The ministers will meet with Mr Trump's top cabinet members, Mr Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, for AUSMIN at the university's Hoover Institution on Monday and Tuesday where China's expansion in the South-Pacific, North Korea, trade and Russia will be items on the agenda.

U. S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Simi Valley, Calif.
U. S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Simi Valley, Calif.

The San Francisco Bay Area is an anti-Trump hotbed.

The region overwhelmingly voted against Mr Trump in the 2016 presidential election, with rival Hillary Clinton receiving more than 70 per cent of the vote.

Mr Trump has not ventured to the Democrat Party stronghold since moving into the White House.

"This is a rare opportunity for us to tell Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis how we feel about Trump's disastrous, clueless, dangerous, inconsistent and exasperating foreign policy," Steve Rapport, an organiser working with Indivisible San Francisco and MoveOn, told AAP.

"By enabling Trump's inexplicable coziness with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis are complicit in advancing the Kremlin's interests over America's.

"It's past time for them to put the US and its allies first and restore sanity to our foreign policy."

The US State Department, Stanford campus police and Palo Alto police have devised a security plan to protect the delegations.

- With AAP

Source SBS News

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