(Eagle News) — Russian ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev expressed how important it is for Filipinos and Russians to discover more about each other, stressing how both have common values.
In a previous interview with Eagle News Service, Khovaev stressed the importance of Filipinos and Russians being open to each other, and for the Philippines to see Russia as a “new reliable partner and close friend.”
It’s time for Russia to discover the Philippines and it’s time for Filipinos to discover Russia,” the ambassador said in an interview at the Eagle Broadcasting Studio done after his courtesy call to the Iglesia Ni Cristo Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo last year.
Ambassador Khovaev said Russian interest in the Philippines now is very high, and the Russians are looking forward to more friendly relations with Filipinos.
“I’m happy to be here,” he said as he recalled that the bilateral ties between Russia and the Philippines have not really prospered before.
“Now it’s time to enhance our bilateral relations” Ambassador Khovaev said during his interview in one of the EBC studios.
“We need to explore all possible opportunities how to promote our bilateral cooperation,” he said.
Khovaev said Russia would want to help the Philippines, especially the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte will be visiting Russia, upon the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, this April.
“We Russians, we have a lot of offer to the Philippines. Our aim is to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines because we have a lot in common,” he said. “What we need is to become consistent and persistent.”
The Philippines’ chief of mission to Russia, Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta also told Eagle News Service that Russia is now “much more open.”
“Russia is no longer the Russia of decades ago, during the cold war. Russia is not the USSR anymore, it’s a much more open Russia,” Ambassador Sorreta said.
Sorreta also agreed with Ambassador Khovaev on the need for Philippines and Russia to enhance relations.
“We need to build more trust between our countries, and one way to do that is to increase contacts between our people,” he said.
“And we’re quickly discovering that Russians in general, including the government are not isolationist, they want to engage other countries including the Philippines,” he added.
Russian ambassador Khovaev said “there’s only one recipe to improve” bilateral relations and this is “to intensify people to people contacts in all levels.”
“I’m sure we Russians and Filipinos, we have a lot in common, simply because our daily life is mostly based on the same Christian values,” he said.
Philippine chief of mission to Russia, Ambassador Sorreta agreed and said that one of the biggest commonality of the Filipinos and Russians is their “religiosity.”
“The Russian people are people of faith of believing in God. And that’s something that’s very common that the Filipinos also have,” he said.
Russian Ambassador Khovaev pointed to another common trait of Russians and Filipinos. And that is the love for family and family values.
“We love our land. Of course we love our families. We preserve the same family values –traditional family values,” he said.
“That combined efforts in order to protect these traditional values, it’s a very very fruitful basis for our friendship,” Ambassador