PH, Russia to sign bilateral deals on culture, health, basic research during Duterte visit
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Russia is set to sign bilateral agreements covering areas of culture, health, and basic research among others during President Rodrigo Duterte’s upcoming visit to the cities of Sochi and Moscow.
Speaking at a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang on Friday, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Amelita Aquino said that the agreements “are still being negotiated and vetted.”
Asked how many agreements between the Philippines and Russia are expected to be signed, Aquino said: “I think we are not targeting a number because it’s actually the quality and what we get from the agreements.”
“You can have one or two agreements but it is something that will really be useful for us. You can have 10 agreements that might not mean anything,” she said.
“So we’re not really targeting but we’re looking at the agreements that we need and that we can get cooperation from Russia,” she added.
‘Reinvigorated’ PH-Russia ties
According to Aquino, the bilateral relations of the Philippines and Russia “has been reinvigorated under the Duterte administration.”
“Even if the President’s first visit to Russia was cut short, that provided the momentum…for deeper engagement with Russia in various areas: in the area of security, in the area of trade, in the area of culture, in the area of science and technology,” she said.
To recall, the President cut short his official visit to Russia back in May 2017 due to a terror attack in Marawi City.
Duterte had once called Russian President Vladimir Putin his “favorite hero,” as he tried to cement better ties with Russia.
Duterte is set to visit Russia on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. /muf
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