Duterte, Putin reaffirm strong PH, Russia relations
President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed on Thursday the strong relations of the Philippines and Russia.
In their bilateral meeting in Polyana Hotel in Sochi, Duterte said he always looked forward to returning to Russia since his first visit in May 2017, which was cut short due to the Marawi siege.
"I'm here today to build a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian (people)," Duterte told Putin.
Since his short visit two years ago in Moscow, he said there was a "dramatic increase" of cooperation and the two countries made "historic firsts" in key strategic areas for economic, defense, security and military technical cooperation.
Duterte underscored the need to sustain engagement of the two countries.
Duterte and Putin's meeting was their fourth - the first in November 2016 at the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Peru, then on May 27, 2017 during Duterte's first visit to Russia, and on November 27, 2017 at the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. Celerina Monte/DMS