By FRED LOBO
President Duterte reported to the nation that his recent visit to Russia brought closer bilateral economic and defense cooperation and secured more than P620 million worth of business deals for the country.
From Russia (with love), I report to you favorably, he said.
“We reaffirmed the Philippines’ strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism. And working with Russia, we have achieved much,” Duterte said upon his return .
“Greater momentum for Philippine-Russia relations,” he said.
The President added that the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen ties in all
areas of cooperation from security and defense to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.
“Idol” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medveded received me warmly, he said.
Putin reiterated that the Philippines is “a very important partner of Russia in Asia,” citing the constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
Translation: The feeling is mutual.
Duterte, while in Moscow, witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements on the peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy matters.
“These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests,” he said.
The President cited that the reinvigorated friendship with Russia has started to bear fruit, as attested by several private business deals sealed.
Second visit to Moscow was productive (and sealed with a kiss), he said.
“More than P620 million in business deals were signed during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum in Moscow. We hope that these contracts will generate more jobs and economic opportunities for many Filipinos,” he said.
Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments, that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc, he added.
“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” Duterte said.
In a speech before the Valdai forum in Sochi, Duterte made a strong pitch for fairness, equality, and mutual respect among nations.
“I shared our views on the evolving world order and the need to build partnerships on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect in order to maintain global peace and stability,” he said.
Duterte , in an address before the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) University, stressed that solving global challenges require “genuine cooperation without political preconditions.”
“This visit generated greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations. [This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte has directed the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) to look into the “ninja cops” issue, being investigated by the Senate.
Get to the bottom of this, he said.
The President said that two high-ranking police officers are reportedly involved in the drugs business, particularly in the recycling of confiscated drugs.
Officers in uniform are out of synch. Whew!
The Senate said it will recommend to Malacanang more appropriate actions and sanctions against “ninja cops” after the completion of its investigation into the illegal drugs case.