Duterte open to joint war exercises with Russia | Global News
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BOOSTING BILATERAL RELATIONS

Duterte open to joint war exercises with Russia

/ 12:53 AM January 06, 2017
Igor Khovaev


Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaef (left) and Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov (middle) answers questions at a press briefing aboard the visiting russian warship Admiral Tributs at Pier 15 of South Harbor in Manila on Wednesday January 4, 2017. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Malacañang sees a boost in ties with Moscow with the goodwill visit of Russian warships to the country, and says President Duterte is open to  joint military exercises with Russia.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the visit of the Russian vessels would strengthen the friendship between the navies of the two countries.

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“It is also an indication that our maritime cooperation can further be enhanced to enable diplomacy and camaraderie,” Abella said.

The President is scheduled to visit one of the ships today.

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The visit of the Russian warships comes after the Philippines scaled down its joint military exercises with the United States amid waning ties.

Mr. Duterte has lashed out at the United States and threatened to terminate Manila’s Visiting Forces Agreement with Washington after US President Barack Obama and US lawmakers criticized his brutal war on drugs.

The President has also said he wants all foreign troops out of the country.

Abella said Mr. Duterte disapproved only of the “permanent” stay of foreign troops in the Philippines.

“Joint exercises may be something that they consider,” he added.

He also said joint military exercises between the Philippines and Russia would depend on the signing of a memorandum of understanding that would provide the framework for the terms of engagement.

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TAGS: Ernesto Abella, Rodrigo Duterte, Russia-Philippines joint war exercises, Russia-Philippines relatios
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