Russia blasts US for warning PH over possible subs purchase
The Russian Embassy in Manila fired back at its rival United States for warning the Philippines over its possible acquisition of submarines from them, saying it was an “acute attack of colonial syndrome.”
“It is another testament that this sickness as well as propensity to lecture other countries and give unsolicited advice is still prevalent in Washington,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page on Saturday afternoon.
Russia is being eyed as one of the potential suppliers of the country’s planned acquisition of submarines, along with South Korea, France, and Germany.
US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver told reporters Thursday that the Philippines should be “very careful” in buying Russian weapons and platforms for it may hurt the decades-long alliance of the two countries.
Buying major platforms was also about investing in relationships and at the same time it may affect the interoperability in ground operations with the long-time ally, he said.
While Russia admitted that interoperability of military equipment may be a problem, the US seemed to have “exaggerated” it, and instead dismissed it as a case of “mental interoperability.”
“Such a problem does exist but its extent is exaggerated. Experience of other countries shows that this obstacle could be overcome,” it said.
“The matter that should be of grave concern is mental interoperability. The mentoring of Mr. Schriver is an example of this. The mental interoperability could be only achieved by letting go of outdated clichés, prejudices, and phobias,” it added.
The embassy also shot back at Schriver’s comments on “the nature of Russian regime” where he cited the annexing Crimea the chemical attack in UK as part of its “laundry list.”
It downplayed the claims as “preposterous” and “groundless speculations” and instead turned the tables to the US.
“We would like Mr. Schriver to be more specific and also give us American laundry list, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya which have not turned out to be beacons of democracy but became a breeding ground for terrorism,” it said.
“Under the pretext of promoting democracy and protecting human rights countless horrendous crimes against humanity have been committed in those countries,” it added.
It also advised the US not to interfere with its affairs with the Philippines.
“The Russian Federation has never made comments on foreign relations of the Philippines. And we do not intend to do it in the future. At the same time we expect other countries to do likewise and to refrain from interfering into the relations of the Russian Federation and the Republic of the Philippines as two independent sovereign states and equal partners,” it said.
“The defense cooperation between Russia and the Philippines is a matter of bilateral relations and does not involve any third country in any way. This cooperation is in full compliance with all existing international arms control regimes. We believe it meets strategic interests of the Philippine nation and will definitely contribute to the regional peace and stability,” it added.
The US and the Philippines have decades-long alliance. But when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, he alienated the US and steered the country closer towards China and Russia as part of his independent foreign policy.
On Friday, Duterte slammed the Schriver’s comments for supposedly interfering with the Philippines’ affairs with countries.
“Is that the way you treat an ally? And you want us to stay with you for all time? Who are you to warn us?” he said in a speech in Davao City.
“You state your reason why you are against my country buying submarines….give me the reason why and make it public. You want us to remain backward?” /je
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