(Eagle News) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, during the Philippine leader’s second visit to Russia.
The two leaders met at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on October 3, 2019, Thursday where they vowed to strengthen the Philippines and Russia’s bilateral relations.
Russian President Putin welcomed President Duterte and thanked him for coming to Russia and participating in the Valdai Discussion Club which centered “around the development of situation in Asia.”
Putin stressed how Asia is a very important region in the world, and noted “the new security architecture” because of Asia’s importance.
“As for our bilateral relationships, I would like to highlight that the Philippines is a very important partner of Russia in Asia. Our bilateral cooperation is constructive and mutually beneficial but our friendly relationships between our two countries,” he said in his opening statement during their bilateral meeting in Sochi.
“I remember that during your last visit to Russia in May of 2017, you had to cut it short and return to the Philippines due to terrorist attacks committed by ISIS terrorists. And over the last two years you have managed to lower the level of terrorist threat in your country and to strengthen the potential of your security bodies,” he said.
-Putin vows to help PHL fight terrorism-
The Russian President also expressed his commitment to help the Philippines fight terrorism.
“We are prepared to develop our partnership when it comes to countering terrorism and share our experience and all the developments,” he said.
Putin also noted the increased trade and economic cooperation between the two countries under the Duterte administration, where the trading has grown two-fold, at more than 1.2 billion dollars. Russian exports also grew four-fold.
“And in large part due to your personal attention, we have revitalized our political dialogue,” he told Duterte.
“And we highly appreciate your visit to Russia and it would benefit our bilateral relationships,” Putin said.
-Duterte thanks Russia for helping Philippines-
For his part, Philippine president Duterte said he came to Russia to “reaffirm our strong commitment to build a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation.”
He noted the “dramatic increase in bilateral activities across many areas of cooperation at various levels of government” and the many “historic firsts in the key strategic areas from economic, defense, security and military technical cooperation.”
“In 2018, BRP Tarlac made a port call at Vladivostok, the first ever by Philippine Navy. This was highly a political issue and importance given that a few years back this would have been unthinkable,” Duterte said.
He also noted the regular “high-level consultative meetings” the two countries’ foreign ministries, national security councils, and economic agencies since 2017, and the port calls of “our two navies.”
“I am pleased that for the first time also a Philippine Navy vessel sailed to Russia to participate in the naval parade in Vladivostok on the Russian Navy Day. We have opened our respective defense attaches in the offices in our capitals. This is an indication of our long-term commitment to elevate our defense relation and I am indeed very pleased with this development,” Duterte said.
Today, Duterte is also set to take part in the meeting of Business Council in Russia.
Russia is set to also increase “industrial cooperation” with the Philippines and share its knowledge on the exploration of space and the use of digital technologies.