5 Mar 2007

Russia attends Fiji budget while ANZUS representatives are absent

5:48 am on 5 March 2007

Russia was represented for the first time at the presentation of a Fiji government budget when the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, revealed his financial plans last Friday.

Russia's Canberra-based ambassador to the Pacific, Alexander Blokhin, attended the budget presentation in Suva.

The Russian presence coincided with the absence from the budget of the high commissioners of Australia and New Zealand and the ambassador for the United States, although the three diplomats have traditionally been present.

Representatives from all Asian and Pacific countries which have diplomatic offices in Fiji were present.

Mr Blokhin said through an interpreter that Russia was interested in investing in the agricultural sector and he wanted to introduce Russian businesses to Fiji.