Julie Bishop says US President Donald Trump shouldn't reward Russia for bad behaviour ahead of his meeting with Vladimir Putin.
The foreign affairs minister says the challenge facing the US in the highly anticipated leaders' meeting in Helsinki on Monday all depends on how much it demands of the Russian president.
"Russia has many questions to answer," Ms Bishop told ABC Radio on Wednesday.
"We certainly have issues with Russia and we certainly have issues with President Putin."
Ms Bishop wants Russia called to account over the downing of flight MH17, nearly four years after the incident.
The presence of the Russian manufactured nerve agent novichok in the United Kingdom, that has led to one death, also demanded questions be answered.
Not least, its involvement in Syria, where it backs Bashar al-Assad's regime.
President Trump has said his meeting with President Putin will be the "easiest" of his tour of member countries of America's Atlantic alliance - NATO.
He has consistently called on NATO members to chip in more for their own defence.
"He clearly practices diplomacy on a one-to-one level," Ms Bishop told Sky News.
"He develops a rapport with a particular leaders, if that leads to outcomes it's a very effective form of diplomacy."
Ms Bishop said it remains unclear what will be discussed at the meeting but stressed the importance of NATO, of which Russia is not a member.
"I see it as integral to peace and stability on the European continent," she said.
"We would urge the United States to not reward Russia for its bad behaviour and certainly not invite Russia back into the G8."
Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong is in the US, participating in meetings which she says underscore the importance of America's alliances.
"A key element of American power is the system of alliances it has around the globe, which no other country has," Senator Wong told ABC Radio.
"And obviously NATO is a key aspect of that."