Fiji's interim prime minister has announced another 380 Fijian troops will join the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights.
Commodore Frank Bainimarama says the contingent will leave Fiji at the end of the month.
He has also revealed that Russia, a key player in the Middle East, offered to assist Fiji with the UN deployment.
The Fijian troops will merge with the 183 troops that have already been sent to the troubled zone between Israel and Syria.
Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka, a former Land Forces commander in the Fiji Army, says the suspension of Fiji's defence relationship with Australia has given rise to its Russian partnership.
"Fiji is not really able to deploy to such UN hotspots without assistance from larger countries," Mr Baledrokadroka told Radio Australia's program.
"Equipment has been provided by the Russians for the deployment of the battalion."
Mr Baledrokadroka says the Fiji-Russia relationship will pose a risk to Fijian troops.
"We know that Russia has sided with the Assad government with Syrian forces," he said.
"Word will get out that the Fiji troops have been assisted by the Russians.
"Fiji will actually be tainted as being sort of siding with the Russians."
He says Fiji is using Russia as a sovereignty card against its regional neighbours.
"Fiji and other island states, ever since independence, have been playing the sovereignty card quite well against Australia, New Zealand and pretty much every other sort of global power," he said.
"It's used China well in the last six or seven years that the regime has been in power."
On the other hand, Mr Baledrokadroka says this is the first time Russia has played a substantive role in Fiji's peacekeeping forces.
"Russia has its own interests in the Middle East, and it is using Fiji," he said.
"Fiji has become like a mercenary."
Mr Baledrokadroka says Fiji's peacekeeping role is helping maintain Commodore Bainimarama's hold on power in the nation.
"It gives it a justification to have a bigger military within Fiji that is virtually a force against the people of Fiji," he said.