Is Russia looking to extend its influence in the Asia Pacific?
WHEN a Russian naval vessel paid a historic first port visit to Port Moresby in May, the news made headlines around the region. The 7,000-tonne training ship, Perekop, part of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet, stayed for three days and sailors on board met with the leadership of PNG’s navy and armed forces. I argued last year that the Pacific has joined the list of the Kremlin’s playgrounds. So has the time come for Canberra to start worrying? No. But there are plenty of reasons why it’s crucial to not underestimate Russian interests in the Pacific, even though there isn’t any direct threat towards Australia at the moment. SEE ALSO: Russia joins North Korea’s flurry of diplomacy Russia is a Pacific country. Its main focus is Northeast Asia and it has a history of relations with some Pacific nations, some of which are increasing, particularly as military relationships. Moscow recently became an ASEAN dialogue partner, which led...
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