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In January 2016, 20 containers of Russian arms arrived in Suva, the capital of Fiji.Speculations have abounded as to the ramifications of the weapons shipment.The weapons will likely be used to arm Fiji’s peacekeepers.

Opposition MPs and security analysts have made several claims including: the deal was clandestine, the weapons could potentially be used against Fijian citizens; and Russia’s increased engagement with Fiji is an opening move The Russian arms deal was not secret but nor was it transparent.These include Tikoca claiming that the weapons deal will enable Bainimarama to control the south-west Pacific .Other analysts have suggested that the weapons, being dual usage, could also be used as crowd control on the local population .The government could have rode the wave of national relief when the soldiers were freed by announcing that Fijian peacekeepers would in the future be better equipped with Russian weapons and kit.The lack of transparency around the deal has led to some extraordinary and unhelpful comments being made in Fijian and foreign media.

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