Russia expresses support for Philippine Navy sub acquisition program
The Russian Navy chief expressed support on the submarine acquisition project of the Philippine Navy, a spokesman said Saturday.
Commander Jonathan Zata said the Philippine Navy Flag Officer In Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad met with Admiral Vladimir Korolev, chief of the Russian Navy during his visit to represent the Armed Forces of the Philippines in St. Petersburg for the Russian Navy Day celebration last July 29.
Zata said during the meeting, Korolev expressed support in the modernization program of the Philippine Navy, particularly the procurement of its submarines.
“The chief of Russian navy assured his commitment to support the upgrade program of the PN in terms of training, maintenance and sustainment of future acquisition particularly the submarine acquisition project of the PN,” he said.
Zata noted that during the visit, “the PN delegation was given the opportunity to visit Admiralty Shipyard, the navy's premier naval shipyard where Russian submarines are built.”
He said Empedrad was accompanied by the commander, Philippine Fleet, Rear Admiral Danilo Rodelas and two PN officers and Philippine Defense Attach? to Russia, Colonel Dennis Pastor during the visit.
Zata said during the meeting a “draft MOU (memorandum of understanding) for deepening security cooperation between the two navies was discussed.”
“He (Korolev ) also mentioned about conduct of joint HADR ( Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response) training and regular visits of ships,” he said.
“It was also during this meeting that the Chief of Russian Navy expressed his appreciation for the upcoming visit of a PN ship in Vladivostok, Russia,” he added.
Zata recalled three warships from Russia made a port visit in Manila in June 2018.
He said the “main naval parade at St. Petersburg is a commemoration of over three centuries of Russia’s rich history. This is the day where the Russian federation honors members of the Russian Navy and showcase its strength and capabilities. It is celebrated annually, on the last Sunday of July.”
“To mark this year's Navy Day parade, the Russian president and Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Putin attended the activity,” he said.
Zata said the commander of the China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy, Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong was o among the navy chiefs who attended. Shen met Empedrad during the event.
“The 14 chiefs and representatives of the invited navies were also tendered with a formal dinner by the chief of Russian Navy as the final event for the visiting delegations,” he said.
“All heads of delegations agreed that the only way to achieve peace at sea is through cooperation among navies of the world,” he noted.
"The official visit underscores the navy’s diplomacy efforts for increased interaction among other navies. These engagements are building blocks for closer cooperation in areas of mutual concern such as combatting terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes, the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Zata added. Robina Asido/DMS