A recent report has revealed news of large shipments of Russian arms to the island of Fiji. This has understandably raised several questions about what was actually included in those shipments, and why they were being shipped.

According to The Guardian,

A secretive shipment of weapons and military hardware donated by Russia to the military of Fiji may be an “opening move” in a battle for influence in the Asia-Pacific region, security experts have said. The 20-container shipment—sent by the Russian government to its recently forged ally—was unloaded from a cargo ship in Suva last week. It will be followed by Russian military personnel arriving in the archipelago nation next month to act as “trainers” for the new arsenal.

“The manifest of the arms shipment remains unknown. It is believed to contain mainly small arms, but opposition politicians, concerned by the secrecy of the transfer, have speculated it may include a helicopter, heavy weaponry or non-lethal munitions intended for domestic crowd control. Fiji has said it will formally unveil the weapons in February, but some in the country are skeptical the entire arsenal will be publicly revealed.”

It is doubtful that the full contents of the shipments will actually be revealed, even though the Fijian government has stated that they intend to be transparent. According to them, the weapons are meant to re-arm Fijian peacekeepers who are supporting United Nations causes around the world. To explain the Russian troops who are also present, they are reported to be training and advising the Fijian forces.

From the Russian perspective, their motive is reported to be “transactional” in nature.

From an American perspective, neither of these explanations are likely to be true.

What are the more realistic motives of Russia in this arming operation?