13 November 2014 naval-technology.com
The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has deployed two frigates and a surveillance aircraft, in a bid to monitor Russian naval vessels that are travelling through international waters north of Australia.
Russia has reportedly stationed four warships in Pacific waters near Papua New Guinea, including a cruiser, destroyer, tug boat and a refuelling vessel.
The latest move comes days before the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, which will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Australian DoD said in a statement: "Defence is monitoring Russian naval vessels that are currently transiting through international waters to the north of Australia.
"In accordance with international law, Defence have been monitoring the Russian vessels.
"The movement of these vessels is entirely consistent with provisions under international law for military vessels to exercise freedom of navigation in international waters."
Russian Navy vessels have previously been deployed alongside major international summits such as the APEC meeting in Singapore in 2009, as well as a warship accompanying ex-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's San Francisco visit in 2010.
However, Russian media cited Pacific Fleet spokesperson captain first rank Roman Martov as saying: "The objectives of this campaign are to ensure naval presence and show the flag in the region."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Putin held talks during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing regarding the crash of flight MH17 over Ukraine in July.