‘No secret’: Russia supplied small arms to Fiji at government’s request

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From Sputnik News

The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied media reports alleging supplies of firearms and ammunition to the Pacific nation of Fiji were “secret”, saying the deliveries were carried out on request by the Fiji government.

Western media reports have claimed that a secretive shipment of at least 20 containers with weaponry had been recently sent from Russia to Fiji as part of Moscow’s efforts to gain influence in the region.

“A shipment of light firearms and respective ammunition is delivered on official request of the Fiji government with the purpose of equipping a motorised infantry battalion which is part of the United Nations peacekeeping force deployed on the Golan Heights,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“Responding to claims of ‘secrecy’ of the delivery, I would like to note that Fiji is planning to hold an official ceremony of the transfer of Russian weaponry in the second half of February,” Zakharova stressed.

According to Zakharova, Moscow will continue its “multifaceted practical cooperation, including in the military-technical area, with Fiji and other countries in the South Pacific region”.

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Duty editor of the Asia Pacific Report/Evening Report collaboration or the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology. Feedback: Email the editor

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