Duterte, Putin meet online on cooperation to fight COVID; PHL ordering 20-M Sputnik V doses

PHL-Russia to bolster cooperation in other areas, including defense and security

President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin discuss strengthened cooperation to fight COVID-19 in online meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Photo courtesy Sen. Cristopher “Bong” Go)


(Eagle News) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin had an “open and productive tele-summit” on Tuesday, April 13, where the two leaders discussed strengthening cooperation to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“The Philippines is ordering 20,000,000 doses of Sputnik V from Russia and both Leaders stressed the importance of ramping up global production and supplies,” said a statement from Malacanang on the meeting of the two leaders.

-Commitments reaffirmed on 45th year of PHL-Russia diplomatic relations-

Their online meeting was done as the Philippines and Russia commemorated the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., and Senator Christopher Go were also present in the meeting.

During the meeting which lasted for about half an hour, President Duterte and President Putin “reaffirmed their shared commitment to further enhance cooperation.”

“Both Presidents discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russia’s Sputnik V must be mobilized to as many countries as possible,” the Palace statement read.

Malacanang said that President Duterte “thanked President Putin for Russia’s commitment to bolster cooperation in various areas, including in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Both leaders stressed the importance of “continuing and strengthened collaboration to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin discuss views to further strengthen efforts of the two nations in the global fight against COVID-19 during a phone call at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on April 13, 2021. They both agreed to work together to ramp up supplies and production of vaccines to meet the needs of our population. Also discussed were defense cooperation, energy, trade and investments, among others. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

They also talked about the “steady progress in defense and security cooperation between the two countries, fostered by regular exchanges between defense, intelligence and military agencies, and vowed to sustain the momentum gained over the past five years.”

-Improved Russia-PHL relations noted-

The Russian leader also noted the improved relations between the Philippines and Russia recently.

“President Putin highlighted the positive trajectory of Russia-Philippines relations and emphasized the many opportunities for greater cooperation in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture and energy development even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation,” a Malacanang statement on the meeting said.

The Palace said that President Duterte again invited President Putin to “visit the Philippines as soon as circumstances allow,” which the Russian leader welcomed.

In May 2017, President Duterte had to cut short his official trip to Russia because of the Marawi siege on May 23.

(Eagle News Service)