(Eagle News) — Russian Ambassador to the Philippines H. E. Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev, highlighted the importance of exploring and strengthening bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Russia, in his recent visit to the New Era University main campus in Quezon City.
Ambassador Khovaev was the main speaker in Eagle Broadcasting Corporation’s “The Forum” held at the NEU campus on March 27, 2019.
“We need to explore all possible opportunities how to promote our bilateral cooperation,” the Ambassador said.
“It’s time for Russia to discover the Philippines and it’s time for Filipinos to discover Russia.”
During his talk, the Ambassador also cited how mainstream Western media and even popular media like Hollywood movies have placed Russia in a bad light.
“Not many people in the Philippines know real Russia. I assure you that my country is different from how it is presented in mainstream Western media or Hollywood movies,” he said.
-People to people contact-
Through “people-to-people” contact, he says, Filipinos get to know the “real Russia” and Russians get to know the Philippines.
The Ambassador discussed the merits of deepening the relations between the two countries, saying the Philippines and Russia have an extensive cultural heritage that dates back centuries.
He said that his purpose for the talk is to give the proper context regarding Russia to the students, the academe and members of the media who were present during EBC’s “The Forum.”
“We have no intention to make Philippines’ relations with traditional partners difficult. Our aim is to build strong long-term partnership based on mutual trust with the Philippines – one of the major actors in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
“Today, the Republic of the Philippines is a promising partner of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific region,” the Russian ambassador stressed.
-Russian and Filipinos have a lot in common, says Ambassador-
In his speech, the ambassador also shared his thoughts about Filipinos.
“We Russians and Filipinos have a lot in common and so we deserve to be friends.”
He said that Filipinos smile much more, and he too has been “infected” as he has been smiling much more since he became ambassador to the Philippines.
He added that while Russians prefer to keep their emotions inside, “the hearts of Russians are as warm as the hearts of Filipinos.”
He recalls how in 1949, then President Elpidio Quirino saved the lives of 5,000 White Russians by allowing them to settle in the Philippines. The Philippines, he says, is “the only country who gave them shelter.”
-Russia and the world-
The ambassador also warned against imposition of a rules-based approach instead of international law in managing global affairs. Russia has been implicated most recently in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, United Kingdom, with no clear evidence. Sanctions were imposed on Russia based on a finding that Russia is “highly likely” to be guilty.
He also corrected what media has termed as the “annexation of Crimea by Russia” as the “peaceful reunification” between Crimea and Russia.
The reunification, he says, is in accordance with the will of the population. The Crimeans voted for their reunification with Russia. For many Crimeans, it was their “long journey home.”
In his visit to the NEU, the Ambassador was greeted warmly by officials of both the NEU and EBC led by its chairman Atty. Theoben Jerdan C. Orosa and by NEU president Dr. Nilo Rosas, and by other school administrators, faculty and students.
Also present were EBC president Rowena Dela Fuente Deimoy and COO James Manzanero and Atty. Serafin V. Cuevas, Jr., NEU Vice-President for Legal and External Affairs.
The Ambassador was treated to a musical presentation by the NEU Rondalla Group, conducted by Bro Lino Mangandi, and by musical performances by the NEU Glee Club and the NEU Center for the Culture and the Arts. (with a report from Emily Manuel, Eagle News Service contributor)