1 Jul 2013

Academic says Russia extending influence through Fiji

3:34 pm on 1 July 2013

An Auckland University Pacific Studies academic, Steven Ratuva, says Moscow is trying to extend its influence in the Pacific through Fiji.

He was commenting on new formal ties established between Suva and Moscow during a trip to Russia by Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Steven Ratuva says Fiji, in turn, is trying to use Russia as leverage along with China against its traditional partners Australia and New Zealand.

"Russia doesn't want to be left out now that a new cold war, as it were, between China and the United States, is taking place. It's saying look I'm still here."

Steven Ratuva says more global exposure puts pressure on Fiji to make good the promise of elections next year.