Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has dramatically stepped up Australia's condemnation of Moscow over the flight MH17 tragedy, accusing it of trying to use humanitarian help as a pretext for an occupation.
Ms Bishop, speaking alongside senior US officials including her counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, also left open the door for further sanctions against Russia, including pushing for a ban on President Vladimir Putin's attendance at the G20 meeting in Brisbane.
''Any intervention by Russia into Ukraine under the guise of a humanitarian crisis will be seen as the transparent artifice that it is and Australia would condemn in the strongest possible terms any effort by Russia to enter Ukraine under the guise of some kind of humanitarian mission.''
Moscow has recently been claiming there is a humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine and using it to shift people and equipment into the area.
On sanctions, Ms Bishop said Australia would ''consider the options available to us''.
Ms Bishop also called on China to help pile more pressure on Moscow to stop the flow of weapons and military personnel into Ukraine.
''Russia's behaviour in recent months has been to breach the sovereignty of Ukraine, a neighbour. This is not behaviour that China, one would think, would condone. It's behaviour that China has pointed out to others would be unacceptable if it were to occur in China's sphere of the world.''
Ms Bishop said that Russia was continuing to supply arms and personnel to pro-Russian separatists even while unarmed Australian and Dutch teams were trying to get to the MH17 crash site.
''Russia was supplying more armed personnel, more heavy weaponry over the border into eastern Ukraine. They didn't cease – in fact, they increased their efforts.
''And instead of listening to international concerns about a ceasefire and the need for a humanitarian corridor for us to conclude our work, on the very day Australia was holding a national day of mourning to grieve the loss of so many Australian lives, Russia chose to impose sanctions on Australia.''
Mr Kerry did not rule out supporting a ban on Mr Putin's attendance at the coming G20 meeting in Brisbane. He said international opinion on that would depend on Russia's behaviour ''in these next days''.
Mr Kerry said the US was very aware of Australia's ''need for justice'' over the ''unconscionable crime''.
''The world can't just move by this and gloss by it. People need to remember this, because holding people accountable is essential not just to justice but to deterrence and prevention.''
He said the US was ''open'' to further sanctions over the issue but had not made any decisions.
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