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Russian weapons exported to Fiji at its official request — foreign ministry

January 29, 18:39 UTC+3
The weapons will be used by Fiji’s mechanized infantry battalion which is part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) deployed in the GolanHeights
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A ceremonial guard backed by an armed Fijian soldier at the entrance to Fiji's Government House in the capitol Suva

A ceremonial guard backed by an armed Fijian soldier at the entrance to Fiji's Government House in the capitol Suva

© AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Russian weapons are being supplied to Fiji at the official request from that country and will be used to boost the efficiency of a peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"Reports about more ‘Russian traces’ spotted, this time, in the south of the Pacific have turned to be another failure of conspiracy theorists," she said. "A batch of Russian small arms and munitions is being supplied to Fiji at the official request of that country. These weapons will be used by Fiji’s mechanized infantry battalion which part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) deployed in the Golan Heights."

She said these weapons would be officially transferred to Fiji’s armed forces in February. "No doubts, Russia’s assistance to Suva [Fiji’s capital city - TASS] will help boost the efficiency of the peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights," Zakharova added.

According to the foreign ministry spokeswoman, Russia will expand comprehensive practical cooperation with Fiji and other southern Pacific states, including in the military technical sphere. "Such cooperation is not meant to interfere into their domestic affairs and is not aimed against third countries," she stressed.

Several days ago, Britain’s The Guardian reported about allegedly secret Russian arms supplies to Fiji. It cited experts saying Russian weapons supplies to Fiji could be seen as an "opening move" in a bid for more influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The Guardian also cited a representative of a Fiji opposition party who said the Russian consignment included non-lethal munitions that could be used against protesters.

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