Friday, November 14, 2014

• Russian warships intercepted by Australia near territorial waters


Australia Defence Force confirms Russian warship fleet cruise near to their territorial waters




 

The Russian fleet, which reportedly includes a high powered missile cruiser, was met by Australian military vessels in international waters off Papua New Guinea. The move comes just days before Australia hosts the G20 conference in Brisbane, with Russian President Vladimir Putin expected to attend.

Australian leader Tony Abbott recently stated that he intends to 'shirt-front' Putin following the killing of 38 Australians aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July.

Recently Russian aircraft, including two Russian Bear long-range bombers, were also spotted close to American and Canadian airspace near Alaska. While NATO recently confirmed that interceptions of Russian warplanes in Europe have increased threefold on 2013.

Last month, Sweden mobilised its military for a six-day hunt for a suspected Russian submarine near to capital Stockholm. The incident brought back memories of Soviet incursions into Swedish territorial waters during the Cold War.






A CONVOY of heavily armed Russian war ships, including at least one high powered missile cruiser, are cruising international waters to Australia’s north, Defence has confirmed.
Defence is monitoring the fleet of four ships, which include a cruiser, a destroyer a tug boat and a refueller, which were believed to be in the Coral Sea, south ofBougainville, Papua New Guinea on Wednesday evening.
Australian ships HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Stuart were ordered to “crash sail” to the Coral Sea earlier this week in a bid to “greet” the Russian fleet. It is believed HMAS Parramatta arrived last night and HMAS Stuart was a day away.
Posturing ... or something more serious? ... this map shows the location of the Russian s
Posturing ... or something more serious? ... this map shows the location of the Russian ships. Source: Supplied
Channel 7 news reported that Russian warships were “steaming toward Australia” in a “show of strength”. It reported that it was a “defiant show of force from the super power, ahead of this weekend’s G20 meeting of world leaders” in Brisbane.
Australian Defence chiefs have been monitoring the movements of the Russian convoy for a week after they were spotted north of Papua New Guinea.
When the fleet turned south between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands an Australian P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft was sent to shadow the war ships.
Russia’s flagship vessel, The Varyag, is leading the four-strong “show of strength” bound
Russia’s flagship vessel, The Varyag, is leading the four-strong “show of strength” bound for the Queensland coast.Source: Supplied
It is understood Mr Putin has ordered the fleet to show-off the might of the Russian navy in the wake of Australia’s international condemnation of Mr Putin after MH17 was shot down by Russian backed rebels.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott had vowed to “shirt-front” Mr Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane.
The Russian fleet left Vladivostok on October 23.
Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain First Rank Roman Martov was quoted by Russian media as saying: “The objectives of this campaign is to ensure naval presence and show the flag in the region.”
Russia has made no request for a Port Visit in Australia and would be required to give 48 hours notice.

Foreign Minister and Defence Chief downplay threat

‘Just part of their operations’ ... Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin. Source: News Corp Australia
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Force chief Mark Binskin downplayed the move, saying they weren’t all warships.
“Russia is entitled to traverse international waters. We’ve been aware of it, we’ve been tracking it,” Ms Bishop said.
“The Australian navy traverses international waters. The Russian navy is doing what navies do,” she said.
“It’s just one part of their operations,” said Defence Force chief Mark Binskin. “They’re in international waters. They’re allowed to do that. And we’ll continue to surveil them,” he said.
The Director of the National Security Institute at the University of Canberra, Peter Leahy, said while Russia is making a “more than a subtle demonstration of power”, it isn’t doing anything wrong and is probably just asserting its position as a maritime power with global interests in the area.
“I rather think it’s pre-planned and it’s more associated with the meeting in Brisbane rather than comments made by the prime minister,” he told ABC radio.
“I would be more concerned about what’s happening over in the Ukraine than what’s happening with three or four - including one tugboat - Russian vessels in our area.”

 Source: DailyTelegraph
A senior government source last night said there was no doubt about Russia’s intentions.
“There is no doubt this is posturing, to show the power of the Russian fleet,” the source said.
HMAS Parramatta had been patrolling the area for the G20 while HMAS Stuart, which was returning to Sydney after World War 1 commemorations in Albany, was later redirected to the region and the crew had their leave cancelled.
It’s not the first time Russian naval vessels have been present while an international summit is on.
Russian warships were around for an APEC meeting in Singapore in 2009 as well as former Russian president Dimitri Medvedev’s visit to San Francisco in 2010.

Vladimir Putin meets with students 
of a naval boarding school while attending 
the unveiling of a monument to late 
Anatoly Sobchak, St. Petersburg's 
liberal Mayor, in St. Petersburg, Russia, 
2006. Source: News Corp Australia
Putin looks out of a nuclear submarine Karelia, in the Barents Sea, in Severomorsk, in 20
Putin looks out of a nuclear submarine Karelia, in the Barents Sea, in Severomorsk, in 2000. Source: News Corp Australia
Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing a naval uniform circa 2000.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing a naval uniform circa 2000. Source: News Corp Australia

No shirtfront in Putin MH17 confrontation

No shirtfront in Putin MH17 confrontation

Russia’s other movements causing concern

As Australia considers the significance of the ships, a top official has also announced that Russia will send long-range strategic bombers on regular patrol missions across the globe, from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
The announcement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu came as NATO’s chief accused Russia of sending fresh troops and tanks into eastern Ukraine.
At the same time, a report by the Lowy Institute Military Fellow James Brown said the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, the guided missile cruiserMoskva, has been conducting unilateral live-fire drills in the South China Sea.
The ship’s appearance in Southeast Asia was described by the US Naval Institute as “a rare show of surface presence in the region’’.
Reports also suggest the Russian Navy frigate Yaruslov Mudry and a replenishment ship are in the area, which were until Monday berthed in Jakarta.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott was on Wednesday in Myanmar for the East Asian Summit. His office declined to comment.
Mr Abbott met with Mr Putin at the APEC summit in China on Tuesday. It was the first time the pair had come face to face since MH17.
Mr Abbott told Mr Putin to apologise for Russian’s invovlemnt in the MH17 atrocity during a 15-minute meeting.
Mr Putin refused to guarantee any requests Mr Abbott asked for.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will attend the G20 summit. He said he did not want to talk to Mr Putin.
“I don’t think, frankly he cares about what Australia thinks,’’ he said.
“What I do know is that we need to be speaking to the rest of the world to put pressure on, to make sure that we get the information we want.
”Surely there’s information that the Russian military have, that people close to the separatists have, which can tell us what happened, why it happened, and what’s going to be done who’s responsible.”
Mr Putin speaks with PM Abbott. Picture: Alexey Druzhinin
Mr Putin speaks with PM Abbott. Picture: Alexey Druzhinin Source: AFP
The leaders reportedly did not chat during APEC’s “family photo”. Picture: Andrew Meares
The leaders reportedly did not chat during APEC’s “family photo”. Picture: Andrew Meares Source: Supplied
The awkward exchange between Abbott and Putin. Picture: Andrew Meares
The awkward exchange between Abbott and Putin. Picture: Andrew Meares Source: Supplied
While the show of strength is daunting, it is not the first time Russians have showed military force at a major international event.
In 2010 then President Dmitry Medvedev was accompanied to a visit in San Francisco by Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Russian war ships were spotted sitting off Singapore in 2009 ahead of the APEC meeting. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will attend the G20 summit. He said he did not want to talk to Mr Putin.
“I don’t think, frankly he cares about what Australia thinks,’’ he said.
“What I do know is that we need to be speaking to the rest of the world to put pressure on, to make sure that we get the information we want.
”Surely there’s information that the Russian military have, that people close to the separatists have, which can tell us what happened, why it happened, and what’s going to be done who’s responsible.”