3 Russian Navy ships dock in Manila for 3-day visit
MANILA, Philippines—Three Russian Navy ships arrived in Philippine waters on Tuesday morning, including an anti-submarine destroyer named “Admiral Panteleyev,” for a three-day visit aimed at enhancing ties between the two countries, officials said.
Only Admiral Panteleyev docked at the South Harbor, while the two other ships, “Boris Botuma,” a large sea tanker, and “Fotiy Krylov,” a rescue tug, stayed at the anchorage upon entering Manila Bay at about 6 a.m., said the Philippine Navy spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay.
Tonsay said BRP Emilio Jacinto received the three ships in a “meeting procedure,” an international navy tradition involving a host ship meeting and escorting visiting ships to the port of call.
“The visit hopes to strengthen existing friendly relations between the two navies through a series of scheduled events aimed at enhancing understanding and cooperation,” he said in a statement.
He added that the visit would “promote a joint environment aimed at strengthening response measures against terrorism, piracy, and transnational crime.”
In a phone interview, Tonsay quickly deflected suggestions that the Russians’ visit might have any connection to tensions over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea (or South China Sea) claimed by countries including the Philippines and Russia’s next door neighbor China.
“We have an existing memorandum of agreement between the Department of National Defense and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the exchange of defense and military delegations dated December 2009,” he said.
Navy Captain Omar Anicete, director of the Naval Operations Center, welcomed Captain I Rank Nikolay Saprikin, the senior commanding officer on the cruise of the Russian Navy.
Originally posted: 5:04 pm | Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
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