Diplomacy

Russia has no plans to set up naval base in Fiji

Moscow is not planning to establish a naval base in Fiji, an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean, a Russian Defense Ministry official, Lt. Gen. Nikolai Parshin said on Tuesday. Parshin, who heads the ministry’s Main Missile and Artillery Directorate (GRAU), took part in a ceremony in the republic’s capital Suva on Tuesday […]

Russian News Agency

February 18, 2016 9:55 am

Moscow is not planning to establish a naval base in Fiji, an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean, a Russian Defense Ministry official, Lt. Gen. Nikolai Parshin said on Tuesday.

Russian arms being officially handed over to the Acting Commander of the RFMF.
Russian arms being officially handed over to the Acting Commander of the RFMF.

Parshin, who heads the ministry’s Main Missile and Artillery Directorate (GRAU), took part in a ceremony in the republic’s capital Suva on Tuesday to hand over a batch of Russian small arms and munitions for Fiji’s peacekeepers.

The official dismissed recent media reports that Russia’s seeks to expand military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and Moscow’s s next step could be searching for a submarine fleet support base in the southern Pacific Ocean.

“We do not comment on idle speculation. However, we note that this is not the first time we hear ‘horror stories’ about the creation by Russia’s Defense Ministry of” an entire network of naval bases “around the world. Where analysts and experts get this information – it is hard to imagine, and they do not disclose their sources, “Parshin said.

He said over the past years the activity of Russia’s Defense Ministry has become more open, and it is more difficult now to uncover sensations. “But some experts continue doing this showing a particular skill of daydreaming.”

“There are no plans of setting up a naval base in Fiji,” the general said, adding that “any cooperation of Russia’s Defense Ministry with military agencies of other states has no goal of interfering into their domestic affairs and is not directed against third countries . “

Russia’s Defense Ministry has supplied weapons to Fiji at the official request from the country’s leadership. The weapons will be used by Fiji’s mechanized infantry battalion, part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) based in the Golan Heights, Parshin said.

Russian Naval Base abroad. Photo: TASS.
Russian Naval Base abroad. Photo: TASS.

A group of Russian military instructors is currently staying in Suva to train Fiji’s troops to use the new weapons.

Russian officer guard patrols at Kant, a Russian air base, outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with a Su-25 ground attack jet parked is in background. © AP Photo/Vladimir Voronin
Russian officer guard patrols at Kant, a Russian air base, outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with a Su-25 ground attack jet parked is in the background. © AP Photo/Vladimir Voronin

The weapons were supplied to the island country free of charge, the general said. The procedure, which is the result a “meticulous work,” was accompanied by the signing of a package of legal documents.

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