Aug 30, 2013

    Russia engages in 'gunboat diplomacy'

    RUSSIA is sending two warships to the eastern Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said yesterday, but Moscow has denied that this meant it was beefing up its naval force there.

    Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, was deploying a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet, Interfax said.

    Mr Lee Willett, editor of IHS Jane's Navy International, said: "What we may be seeing is an example of gunboat diplomacy rather than a deliberate attempt to interfere directly...The simple presence of any ships will have an impact politically."