Duterte, Putin hold telesummit, renew PH-Russia ties

Published June 2, 2021, 10:01 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday renewed the shared commitment to further enhance the bilateral ties between the Philippines and Russia, Malacañang said.

President Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin (File Photo / Malacañang)

The Office of the President (OP) issued the statement in time for the 45th anniversary celebration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Russia on June 2.

In its statement, the OP said President Duterte told President Putin during their phone conversation on Wednesday, June 2, that the cooperation between the two countries continues to grow.

“The Philippines and Russia have indeed a lot to celebrate. Our cooperation continues to strengthen and gain new momentum,” Duterte said.

The President said the Philippines will “sustain the current upward trajectory” of the relations by deepening partnership, especially in trade and investment, defense, energy, space, and people-to-people exchanges.

He also noted positive developments in the procurement of 16 heavy-lift helicopters, adding that the Philippines was looking forward to cooperating with Russia to speed up the modernization of defense assets and systems.

President Duterte likewise stressed the importance of improving market access of Philippine products to Russia, stating that Philippine companies were ready to export more products to Russia while noting that the Philippines has preferential access to global markets.

Meanwhile, he also conveyed appreciation to the Russian government for the warm hospitality extended to more than 10,000 Filipinos in their country.

For his part, President Putin referred to the Philippines as a key partner in Southeast Asia sharing similar positions on many regional and international issues, allowing for tighter cooperation in key multilateral platforms in the future.

He said Russia was also ready to import more Philippine agricultural products, support transportation infrastructure projects, help build the country’s renewable energy facilities, and supply military equipment.

Putin likewise conveyed appreciation for President Duterte’s personal contribution to the growth of bilateral relations. Since becoming President, Duterte has visited Russia twice: first in 2017, a trip that was cut short due to the Marawi Siege; and the second one in 2019.

Over the last five years, more than 30 agreements have been concluded and key bilateral mechanisms established.

The Philippines established diplomatic relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics through a Joint Communiqué signed by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and Supreme Soviet Presidium President Nikolai Podgorny on June 2, 1976.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, the obligations arising from bilateral agreements were assumed by the Russian Federation which the Philippines formally recognized on December 28, 1991.