Russia eyeing energy cooperation with PH – envoy
MOSCOW, Russia — Russia has shown interest in engaging in energy cooperation with the Philippines, Manila’s top envoy here said.
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said the Philippines is “looking at” Russia to invest “in our energy sector setting up plants for natural gas” and “different steps to liquefy for our natural gas.”
“[In] conventional energy, you know Russia is a major player in oil, in gas. So there’s that…that’s what we’re looking at. But we’re looking beyond,” he said.
“We’re looking at supply also to bring down… ‘yung (to) increase sa (our energy) supplier[s]. [With very low] supplies, you can’t bring down [fuel] prices,” he added. “And we’re looking also—it’s still very early—ang (at) nuclear power na merong mga konting (and there are a few) talks [going on], trying to understand what Russia can do and what we are ready to absorb.”
Sorreta made the statement as President Rodrigo Duterte is embarking on his second visit to Russia, where he is set to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Rodrigo Duterte.
Asked if there is any possibility for Russian companies to carry out exploration in the Spratly Islands, Sorreta said: “I believe our policy is…you know that’s ours. If you want someone to have a contract with us, whether it’s Russian, it’s ours.”
“When it comes to exploring the private business, we’ll look at the bottom line of its profits. So we have to show and we have been ever since before… Kasi (Because) it’s ours eh. Parang huwag tayong mahihiya (Let’s not feel ashamed) ‘cause we’re trying to deal with our…the other contenders,” he said.
The Spratlys is a group of islands believed to hold oil and gas deposits.
The islands are claimed entirely or in part by Taiwan, Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
“Exploration of course at this point because we need to know what’s there before we can proceed to… And then they’re willing to do it within our laws,” Sorreta said.
“Well, they’re not a claimant. If they come in, it’s really in full recognition of our sovereign rights and our right to explore or not to explore, to explore, to not to exploit,” he added./ac
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