Duterte: To Russia with love
President Duterte will travel to Russia next week in a “landmark” trip that will open a new chapter in “nascent” Philippine-Russian relations, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.
Mr. Duterte’s official visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg from May 23 to 26 comes after both countries agreed to revive a Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in January.
For the first time in its 40-year relations, the two countries will also exchange defense attachés as part of freshly minted security relations, DFA Assistant Secretary Maria Cleofe Natividad said.
Mr. Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also witness the signing of agreements on defense, military and technical cooperation, mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, extradition and cooperation between national security councils, Natividad said.
Aside from scheduled bilateral meetings with Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Mr. Duterte is also expected to speak at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Natividad said Mr. Duterte will speak about the government’s independent foreign policy and his ideas on how to achieve peace and security.
Agreements on trade and investment and the peaceful use of nuclear energy are expected as well.
Russia is looking to provide the Philippines with military equipment, and Natividad said the agreement on military and technical cooperation could pave the way for this.
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