By Francis Wakefield
The Russian Navy Large Anti-Submarine Ships Admiral Tributs (564), Admiral Vinogradov (572) and Large Sea Tanker Pechenga berthed in South Harbor, Manila on Saturday for a five-day goodwill visit to the Philippines until Thursday, June 14, 2018.
The Russian Navy contingent led by Captain Oleg A. Korolev expressed his gratitude for the warm reception accorded by the Philippine Navy despite the heavy downpour.
Captain Alexey A. Bolotnikov, Commanding Officer of Admiral Vinogradov, Commander Artem A. Kolpaschikov, Commanding Officer of Admiral Tributs and Mr. Sergey M. Litvinenko, skipper of Large Sea Tanker, Pechenga make up the Russian Navy contingent.
Philippine Navy (PN) delegates headed by Captain Domingo Noel C.Tilos, representing the Flag Officer In Command of the Philippine Navy, Vice Adm. Robert A. Empedrad accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony upon arrival, followed by a press briefing and health and security briefing aboard Admiral Vinogradov.
This is the first visit of the Russian Navy this year and sixth time since 2012. However, this is not the first time that these vessels visited the country. Admiral Tributs visited last year in January while, Admiral Vinogradov, on October and Pechenga, sometime in April.
Like their previous visits, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at Rizal monument after their arrival and a courtesy call to the PN FOIC. A series of confidence-building activities with their PN counterparts will also be conducted such as reciprocal reception, goodwill games followed by a boodle fight and shipboard tour that is also open for civilians. A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (Passex) will cap their visit.
The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. It will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie.