Russia-Philippines relations strengthened despite Ukraine crisis — envoy
CEBU CITY — Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov is not expecting any change in the foreign and trade relations between two countries despite the crisis in Ukraine.
Pavlov described the policy of “neutrality” adopted by President Duterte as a positive approach in strengthening relations with the Russian government.
“I would like to stress, to emphasize that the statement of the Philippine leadership because it is very balance and very wise,” Pavlov said in an interview during his visit to Cebu on April 1.
He said that keeping a neutral stance was a “very good way” to continue the “good” relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of the Philippines.
President Duterte earlier said the Philippines would remain neutral in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
He said he would neither take sides or meddle in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pavlov said he visited major cities and provinces in the Philippines to highlight efforts in enhancing cooperation between the two countries in terms of trade, tourism, and cultural exchanges.
In Cebu, he talked with Gov. Gwen Garcia and Mayor Michael Rama about fostering agreements on cooperation between Russia and the two local government units.
Pavlov said that the City of Vladivostok would like to sign a sisterhood agreement with Cebu City.
Cebu province on the other hand, Pavlov said, was also planning to renew its sisterhood pact with St. Petersburg.
“We would like to intensify our tourist program with Cebu destinations,” Pavlov added.
Pavlov said that once these sisterhood agreements were signed, they would organize chartered flights to Cebu for Russian tourists.
They would also share their technology in agriculture.
Pavlov also announced that the film, “To Russia, with Love,” would be released in the country as part of the cultural exchange.
The movie is about a Filipina and her Russian lover.
Pavlov also assured that the deals between the national government and the Russian federation would continue as well.
These include the purchase of helicopters, the availability of Sputnik V vaccines, and in the energy sector.
Pavlov said that the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation of Russia would continue its feasibility study with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant and other possible areas for nuclear energy.
Rosatom would also include a feasibility study on “floating nuclear reactors” and “small nuclear reactors” that the Philippines could use to enhanced its energy requirements.