Duterte to fly to Russia on May 25
President Rodrigo Duterte will be heading to Russia in May to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After recalling his spat with the US, during a speech in Cebu on Thursday, he said, “Sabi pa ng Russia (Russia said), ‘We will have everything you need, just come here.’”
“So I’m going there with Lactao, May 25,” he said, referring to Major General Oscar Lactao, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command chief.
“Maganda rin ang mga Russian,” Duterte said in jest. “Iyon lang man ang puntahan mo. Usap kami ni Putin.”
(The Russians are also beautiful. That’s what you go there for. Putin and I will talk.)
Duterte first met Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru last year. It was there that Putin told him not to forget to visit Russia. He has once called Putin his “idol” and “hero.”
Duterte has been encouraging closer ties with Russia after the administration of then President Barack Obama started criticizing his war on drugs. At one point, the US voided an arms deal with the Philippines, irking Duterte who said he’ll buy firearms from Russia instead.
In November last year, Russia’s largest arms manufacturer Concern Kalashnikov, showcased its rifles before the Philippine Embassy in Moscow. RAM