PH, Russian defense execs meet, eye cooperation pact within 2017
MANILA — Filipino and Russian defense officials met last week to explore joint activities between the two countries in preparation for the signing of a defense cooperation later this year, the Department of National Defense said on Sunday.
In a statement, the DND office of the assistant secretary for assessments and international affairs headed by Raymund Jose Quilop said the discussions held last Jan. 16 resulted in a set of bilateral activities to include high level exchanges and reciprocal visits of military ships, conferences and seminars, and policy level and general staff consultations.
There will also be visits of delegations and observers for military exercises; and visits of each side’s military-educational establishments and scientific-research agencies, according to Quilop.
The identified activities will be held either in the Philippines or in Russia with an action plan to be first approved by authorities from the DND and the Russian defense ministry.
The DND said the activities would serve as “tangible” implementation of the agreement on defense cooperation that would be signed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Russia later this year.
Previous consultations on the agreement have resulted in a mutually acceptable text, which has been going through their respective internal vetting and approval processes, the DND said.
The department said that while both delegations explored various mechanisms to promote PH-Russia defense relations, “both sides acknowledged the need to pursue cooperation in a step-by-step but sustained manner based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s internal processes.”
“The items contained in the draft action are considered as the initial undertakings for moving the bilateral defense relations forward,” the DND added.
The DND statement did not identify the Filipino and Russian officials who attended the discussions. SFM