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Palace: Putin calls Aquino to discuss non-attendance at Apec

/ 02:51 PM November 13, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets Philippines President Benigno Aquino III at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. AP File Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets Philippines President Benigno Aquino III at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. AP File Photo

Malacañang on Friday confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally phoned President Benigno Aquino III to explain his decision not to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit to be held in Manila next week.

READ: Putin, Widodo to skip Apec

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“I can confirm that President Vladimir Putin called President Aquino last night to discuss matters related to the Philippines and Russia bilateral cooperation, and, of course, about the participation of Russia in the APEC Summit here in Manila in the coming days,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a Palace briefing.

“President Putin also discussed with President Aquino the reasons for his inability to attend the APEC Summit to which President Aquino replied that he understood fully well the issues that are confronting the Russian government, and that he also understands the need [for] President Putin to stay in his country to ensure that the reasons behind some of their domestic issues are fully investigated and threshed out,” she added.

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Valte also confirmed earlier reports that Russia will be represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the Apec Summit.

Meanwhile, she said Indonesian President Joko Widodo has yet to formally confirm his non-attendance.

“We are awaiting formal confirmation from our friends in the Indonesian government on their representative to be sent to the summit next week,” Valte said. “It is quite regretful that President Joko Widodo will [most likely] be unable to attend the summit. We understand that the pressing matters back home require his immediate attention.”

READ: Haze from Indonesia blankets Mindanao cities | Aquino: PH won’t castigate Indonesia for haze, to offer help instead

Foreign Undersecretary Laura del Rosario earlier said Widodo might be focusing on the haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia. The haze has affected neighboring countries, including the Philippines.

READ: Mystery, confusion surround Russian plane crash in Egypt

Valte said among the reasons cited by Putin was the crashing of a Russian jetliner that killed 224 people.

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“The President (Aquino) did extend his understanding on the loss of life and recognize fully well that it is a cause for concern for President Putin,” she explained. RAM

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TAGS: APEC, Apec 2015, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Diplomacy, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, President Benigno Aquino III, Russian President Vladimir Putin
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