Putin will visit the Philippines for the first time after Duterte’s invitation

President Duterte and President Putin/photo courtesy of Forbes

Speaking at a forum in Quezon City yesterday, the Russian ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted with gratitude the invitation of President Duterte for him to visit the Philippines. 

President Putin will be visiting the Philippines for the first time after being invited by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Russian envoy said Saturday.

Ambassador Khovaev is hopeful that President Vladimir Putin would visit the Philippines “as soon as possible.”

“This is very important. The invitation of President Duterte has been accepted by President Putin with gratitude,” Khovaev said. 

“At this moment, I can only express my hope that this visit will be made as soon as possible. When? I don’t know. But we’ll do our best to arrange this visit as soon as possible,” he added. 

Khovaev reminded us about Russia’s commitment to work hand in hand with the Philippines in various fields, including strengthening its defense capabilities. 

“We have the most advanced technologies and we are ready to share that with our Philippine partners,” he said

The Russian ambassador also announced that they are ready to establish a small weapons production hub in our country.

He also clarifies that Russian energy company Rosneft Inc. has nothing to do with the recent firing of an official of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).

“I would like to emphasize that... it’s a domestic affair of the Philippines, it’s not our business. It has nothing to do with the Russian side,” Khovaev said when asked about the recent firing of Pedro Aquino Jr., the head of the PNOC Exploration Corporation. 

In an earlier report this month, President Duterte fired Aquino for prematurely negotiating a deal with Rosneft without the authorization of the board of directors and concerned officials.

The President made the statement he asked Aquino to step down as a member of the Board of the PNOC-EC and to submit his resignation before the Office of the President for loss of confidence.
“But I’m happy to say that this decision has no impact on the cooperation between Rosneft and our Philippine partners,” Khovaev added.

The Philippines signed P620 million worth of business deals  with Russia during Duterte's five-day official visit to the country early this month.

Source: Philstar

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