Esperon, PH security execs fly to Moscow for bilateral meet
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is off to Moscow this weekend to boost the Philippines’ security relations with Russia.
Esperon and an interagency delegation composed of officials from the national security sector will be holding bilateral meetings with their Russian counterparts from May 18 to 19.
In a statement, the National Security Council said “the strengthening of security cooperation between the Philippines and the Russian Federation will be the main objective” of Esperon’s visit.
Esperon will be meeting with Secretary Nikolay Patruchev of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
The two officials are expected to follow through on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on security cooperation between the NSC and SCRF, which was signed in May 2017.
“The bilateral discussions build on the successful efforts of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in solidifying Philippines-Russia diplomatic relations along President Duterte’s independent foreign policy,” the statement said.
Cayetano was in Russia earlier this week for a two-day working visit, during which he held bilateral talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Esperon’s delegation includes senior officials from the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.
“They are expected to explore cooperation mechanisms on information exchange, capacity-building, training, and other matters that are mutually-beneficial to both nations,” the NSC added.
Last year, the Philippines and Russia signed a military-technical cooperation agreement to conduct joint research, production support, and possible of exchange of experts and training of personnel.
It may be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte visited Russia in May 2017, but had to cut the trip short after the Marawi City siege broke out on May 23, 2017. /jpv
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