TASMANIAN Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership style but has stopped short of endorsing his treatment of LGBTI people.

Speaking to media earlier today, Lambie rebuked comments by Prime Minister Tony Abbott when he said he would “shirtfront” Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane.

Later, the senator told ABC’s Radio National that she admired the Russian President.

“Yeah, I do like Vladimir Putin,” she said.

“I think he has very strong leadership. He has great values.

“He’s certainly doing his bit to stamp out terrorism and I guess you’ve got to pay the man for that.”

In a media statement issued this morning, the senator said that Putin had “impressed” her with his “no nonsense attitude” to extremist Islamic threats and called on Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to act like leaders.

“Stop acting like hormone affected school-boys trying to out macho each other on the footie (sic) field,” she said.

“And unlike most Australian political leaders there’s no BS about [Putin].”

On whether Lambie’s admiration for Putin also extended to his government’s treatment of LGBTI citizens, the senator said that she never thought of the issue.

“Putin’s values I specifically reflected on this morning were in relation to his leadership against the threat that Islamic terrorism,” Lambie told the Star Observer.

“Because of the unprecedented economic, social and security crisis which faces Tasmania — I haven’t given thought to Mr Putin’s relationship with Russia’s LGBTI community.

“Although I have, because of the unprecedented threat posed by Islamic fanatics to all Australians, including LGBTI people – given thought to the way they (Islamic fanatics) at every chance persecute, torture or kill gay and transgender people simply because of who they are.”

Lambie went on to say that she did not support Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws championed by Putin.

“I only support one law and that’s the Australian law — which offers protection against discrimination for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation, age, race or religion.

“LGBTI people are a very important minority group in our society. Like all peace loving Australians, they should be protected — and should never be discriminated against because of their life choices or sexuality.”

Despite this, Lambie has previously been quoted by Crikey that she does not support marriage equality.

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