06 January 2015
Among the countries scouring the Java Sea off Indonesia for the wreckage of the AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA) jetliner that crashed 10 days ago, one name stands out: Russia.
Russia sent two aircraft and 22 deep water divers on Jan. 2 at the request of the Indonesian government, Eduard Chiziykov, the head of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry operations group in Indonesia, told reporters today in Central Kalimantan. The Russian role in the search contrasts with its absence from the international effort to find Malaysian Airline System Bhd. Flight 370, which disappeared in March.
Russia’s participation gives it the opportunity to join nations in showcasing their military capability to Southeast Asia at a time China, Japan and the U.S. are seeking to bolster their maritime influence in a region that is beset by competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.
…“For the Russians, I think it is a very good opportunity to showcase some of their capabilities,” said Collin Koh, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. The help will also “build some goodwill with Indonesia so they will become another selling point when it comes to arms negotiations.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015