Russia is buying support in the Pacific

There are signs that Russia is buying support from Pacific nations according to Australia’s parliamentary secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs, Richard Marles.

He says there are signs that Russia’s recent aid projects in the Pacific were designed to buy support for its territorial claims in Europe.

Russia has made development aid commitments to tiny Tuvalu and Nauru, apparently in exchange for their recognition of Russia’s stance on the Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia is keen for other countries to join it and a handful of its allies in recognising them as independent states.

“I think to be seeking recognition or, in a sense, bringing the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the Pacific … is concerning,” Mr Marles said.

Russia is not the only Big power active in the Pacific. Japan, the third largest donor in the Pacific, after Australia and the United States is concerned about the growing influence of China.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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