Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally invited Tony Abbott to be a minister in his internationally diverse cabinet.
A spokesperson for the Kremlin said, “The Russian people have been impressed with Prime Minister Abbott’s very manly confrontational capability. This has not gone unnoticed by the President who initiated discussions early in 2014.”
Mr Abbott’s appointment in the role of Foreign Minister follows on the heels of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi being granted Russian citizenship and appointment as the country’s Economics Minister.
French actor Gerard Depardieu and it is believed a number of other high-profile politically active identities such as basketballer Dennis Rodman and US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have also received citizenship and offers of appointment within Putin’s government.
As official word got out of Mr Abbott’s appointment, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and ex-Speaker Bronwyn Bishop are thought to have said in unison, “This is great for Tony. He can add another passport to his collection without making any real contribution to Australia.”
A source within the Department of Finance said they were advised by the government early last year to expect a spike in international travel.
Heavily redacted documents obtained from the Department under Freedom of Information reveal a number of government ministers, including the Bishops, taking a flurry of business and first class flights to popular European holiday destinations and Moscow over the past eighteen months.
Labor has been incensed at the appointment and quickly produced a spokesperson who said the recent claims of travel rorts have been a carefully manipulated cover story promoted by the government to hide negotiations with Mr Putin.
“Now we begin to understand the Prime Minister’s real objective has been to position himself as one of Putin’s crony ministers,” they said.
However, sources close to Mr Abbott have suggested that Labor is jealous that former Foreign Minister and occasional Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was unable to get onto Mr Putin’s A-list.