AsiaPacificReport.nz article by Pacific Media Centre
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”.