by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Much speculation surrounding the presence of four Russian warships near Australia’s border has been fraught with suspicion.
The ships are reportedly stationed in Pacific waters near Papua New Guinea and are made up of a cruiser named ‘Varyag’, a destroyer named ‘Marshal Shaposhnikov’, a tug boat and a refuelling vessel.
The purpose of their presence is the upcoming G20 summit, to be held in Brisbane, Australia in which Russian President Vladimir Putin will be in attendance. The Australian government has noted that as long as the vessels are in international waters, there is nothing to worry about, as reported by SBS Australia.
“It’s not unusual for Russia to deploy naval elements when there are significant international events taking place,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot told reporters at the East Asia Summit in Myanmar, who also mentioned that Australia has been monitoring the warships for some time.
The Russian navy has been similarly deployed to other summits in the past, such as the APEC summit in Singapore and another major summit in San Francisco.
The Russian embassy has since explained the presence of the warships as range capability testing, precedent to the possibility of having to do climate change research in the Antarctic. They further mentioned that, if necessary, they would also provide security for Russian President Vladimir Putin who arrives tonight for the G20 summit.
Edited at 5:45pm, 14 November, 2014