By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
MOSCOW, Russia – President Duterte will soon be called a doctor as the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) is set to confer on him an honorary doctorate degree.
Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said the honorary doctorate, to be conferred on the President on Saturday, is in recognition of his role in promoting Philippine-Russia relations since he assumed office in 2016.
Sorreta said Duterte has been offered the same recognition by other countries in the past but this was the first time the President accepted such an award.
The MGIMO chose Duterte because of the “dramatic turn” in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“The turn in Philippines-Russia relations, I think, is nothing short of dramatic,” Sorreta said.
THE MGIMO is one of the most prestigious and leading academic institutions in Russia in the area of diplomacy and international affairs. Duterte is set to give a brief lecture in the university after he receives the award.
According to Sorreta, Duterte will speak and talk about the Philippines-China relations and will answer questions from the students
“We’re hoping he will address the faculty and students and tell them what’s in store for Philippines, Russia in the future. Maybe Russia, ASEAN also for the future,” he said.
“Then he will take questions from students. There will be a mini dialogue,” he added.
Sorreta explained that Duterte is out to build good relations with other countries and not make enemies with other nations.
“But you know the policy of the President is building relations with Russia, not necessarily at the expense of others. So be friends with everyone,” Sorreta said.
“Kung nag-aaway Russia or — and US (If Russia and the United States are fighting) over an issue, that’s for them to solve. We don’t want to get in between those two,” he added.