Philippines, Russia to sign naval cooperation agreement in July
The Philippine and Russian navies are set to sign a cooperation agreement on July.
In a phone-patch interview, Philippine Navy (PN) Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said he will visit Russia to sign the cooperation agreement in July.
“I went to Russia last year so we came up with an agreement for deepening cooperation between Russian Navy and the PN so we prepare (for) that and we finalized the document. We are going sign that during my next visit to Russia because I will visit Russia by July,” he said.
“There I will sign a document, an agreement for deepening cooperation between the two sides, between the two navies. That document will strengthen the cooperation or enhance the cooperation between the PN and the Russian Navy,” he added.
Empedrad said the agreement is still subject for approval of the Department of National Defense.
“We will forward this to the defense department. Once it is approved by the defense department, then we will proceed to Russia in July to sign the agreement,” he said.
Empedrad said in June there is a joint working or what we call staff-to-staff talk between the PN and the Russian Navy.
''This will start more engagements between the two navies like more port visits, exchanges in training. Our officers or enlisted personnel can do training, education and training in their country and vice versa... these are all that we have discussed with the chief of Russian Navy,” he added.
Empedrad said the first joint working group conference on June will be hosted by the Philippine Navy.
He added that the Philippine Navy may send its vessel to Russia on July to join the fleet review as part of the anniversary of the Russian Navy.
“This coming July they also invited us to join the fleet review of Russian Navy in connection with their anniversary, so it’s the first time (that our vessel) will join… but of course (it is still subject) for approval of higher headquarters,” Empedrad said.
Russian Navy Commander in Chief, Adm. Vladimir Korolyov and his staff visited the Philippine Navy (PN) headquarters on Wednesday.
Empedrad said before leaving the country on Friday, Korolyov and his staff are set to visit some places, including a beach in Batangas. Robina Asido/DMS