Tony Abbott has had a brief discussion with Vladimir Putin - but there was no shirt front.
On the sidelines of the opening of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in Beijing, the PM had his first chance to talk to the Russian leader about the MH17 downing.
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Abbott had infamously said he would shirt front the judo-loving, bear-shooting, F1 race car driving Russian hardman.
Since then he has back peddled on the shirt front claim although he has maintained he would be forceful in pressing Mr Putin over access to the MH17 crash site in Ukraine.
It is understood the PM “caught up briefly” with Mr Putin ahead of dinner last night.
The issue of access to the MH17 crash site was raised between the two.
However, a further discussion is expected later today. That will have to be fitted in with the formal leaders’ summit that is already underway on the outskirts of Beijing.
Mr Abbott is due to address the summit where he will highlight the links between the APEC summit and this weekend’s meeting of world leaders in Brisbane for the G20.
The PM will press the importance of free trade to Australia’s economic interest and to the global economic interest.