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No shopping list yet but DND eyes Russia for guns, planes

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Photo by LYN RILLON/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Russia could be the next source of Philippine military aircraft and guns, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana said he would sign a military agreement with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, “to set the framework on how to go about our military-to-military relationship.”

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The memorandum of agreement would be signed during President Duterte’s state visit to Russia later this month.

“After we have signed the agreement, we will look at [their] equipment to find out what we need,” said Lorenzana.

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“You know we have a lot of equipment already but we need some more,” Lorenzana said.

“We’re looking at their aircraft, their rifles,” he said.

“I heard they have very good sniper rifles. They have many equipment that are good. We have not yet decided what to buy but we are going to look at their equipment,” he added.

Lorenzana visited Moscow on April 26 to speak at the Moscow Conference on International Security, where he raised the issue of China “grabbing shoals in the South China Sea.”

“That’s only an academic discussion of what we perceived as the threat to our security so I came out with that so that everyone would know that, despite some international laws, China has been grabbing shoals in the South China Sea,” Lorenzana said.

He said other speakers at the conference also spoke about their country’s security concerns “like the United States talked about Russia’s involvement in Syria,” while other countries questioned the arms buildup in the Korean peninsula.

The Philippines has long been known as a close ally of the United States, which has strained relations with Russia. However, the Philippines has experienced warmer relations with Russia after Mr. Duterte expressed willingness to explore closer ties.

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TAGS: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Global Nation, Philippine news updates, Russia, weapons purchase
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