In a historic bilateral meeting held in Moscow on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to further improve relations between the two countries, particularly in matters of political security, the fight against terrorism and transnational crime, trade, investment and tourism, migration, energy and culture.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Del Rosario and Lavrov have “agreed to craft a joint plan of action that will chart their future relations in the next five years.”
The Moscow visit, the DFA said, was a first by a Philippine foreign secretary in seven years and capped the yearlong celebration of 35 years of Philippine-Russian relations.
Del Rosario and Lavrov also discussed the challenges posed by maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region. “They agreed that the threats in this area should be approached using a rules-based regime based on transparency and diplomacy,” the DFA said. “They affirmed their commitment to ensure safety of navigation and other security issues in the region.”
The Philippines considers Russia an important bilateral partner as it shares similar views in the United Nations, the East Asia Summit, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Asia-Europe Meeting and other regional groupings.
“These similar aspirations are based on both countries’ adherence to sovereignty, territorial integrity and the maintenance of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” the foreign office added.
The bilateral meeting was preceded by a wreath-laying ceremony at Alexandrovsky Garden, and was followed by a working lunch.