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US, Australia, Japan slam Russia over Ukraine

The United States, Australia and Japan on Sunday urged Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine and demanded justice for the victims of a Malaysia Airlines jet allegedly downed by pro-Russian rebels.

The three countries’ leaders said after talks that they were united in “opposing Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea and its actions to destabilise eastern Ukraine, and bringing to justice those responsible for the downing of Flight MH17”.

The joint call was issued in a statement after tripartite talks among President Barack Obama and prime ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe, on the margins of a G20 summit in Australia.

The summit has been riven by disputes between Western leaders including Obama and Abbott with Russian President Vladimir Putin, over Ukraine and the downing of Flight MH17 in July.

The West says the plane was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, using a missile supplied by Russia.

Moscow angrily denies the charges.

Following testy exchanges in Brisbane, one Russian source said Putin plans to leave the G20 summit early on Sunday, though this was later denied by the Kremlin.