World

British prime minister gets laughs at Australian counterpart's expense over threat to Russian

British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, walks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as they leave the house of representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Cameron is visiting Australia to attend the G20 summit. (AP Photo/Mark Graham, Pool)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, walks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as they leave the house of representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Cameron is visiting Australia to attend the G20 summit. (AP Photo/Mark Graham, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken a playful dig at his Australian counterpart over an obscure threat to assault the Russian president at a weekend summit here.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised eyebrows last month when he declared he would "shirtfront" President Vladimir Putin, using an Australian football term for a head-on shoulder charge to an opponent's chest.

Abbott was demanding more cooperation from Russia on the Dutch-led investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in July by a missile suspected to have been fired by Russian-backed rebels.

Abbott later tempered his language, promising a "robust discussion."

Cameron drew laughs in a speech to the Australian Parliament on Friday when he described the Australian foreign minister approaching him at a recent Italian summit.