Ties between the Philippines & Russia are expected to be even closer following President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to Moscow and Sochi this week.
Duterte said since his first visit in 2017, the Philippines and Russia have expanded cooperation in various areas including trade and investment, defense and security, energy, and science and technology, among others.
“We are intent to sustaining this momentum. I am confident we’ll succeed as I see strong commitment and will from both sides to bring our relation to an even greater level,” Duterte said in his opening remarks during a bilateral meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday night (Oct. 2).
Duterte recalled how the port call of BRP Tarlac in Vladivostok in 2018, the first-ever for a Philippine Navy ship, was a historic milestone that demonstrated closer ties between the two countries.
“This was unthinkable just a few years back yet we did it and more firsts to follow,” Duterte said.
For his part, Medvedev emphasized the positive developments in the Philippine-Russia relations including growth in trade and economic relations.
He also renewed Russia’s interests in continuing various projects such as in transportation, energy and agriculture sectors as well as humanitarian efforts.
Prior to Wednesday’s bilateral meeting, Duterte and Medvedev also met on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit back in 2016 in Vientiane, Laos, and in the Philippines in 2017.
Meanwhile, Duterte also met with the officials of Rosneft Oil Co. in a courtesy call led by Igor Sechin, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) at Four Seasons Hotel.
Duterte was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos Sorreta.
Rosneft, the leader in the Russian oil sector and the largest global public oil and gas corporation, is engaged in exploration and appraisal of hydrocarbon fields, production of oil, gas and gas condensate, and offshore field development projects, among others, according to its website.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s second visit to Russia is part of his independent foreign policy to establish partnerships with countries apart from traditional allies. (PNA)