Medvedev lauds Philippines, Russia "best relations"
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has hailed the "best relations" of Russia and the Philippines during his third meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Moscow.
For the past one-and-a half years since Duterte's first visit to Russia in May 2017, Medvedev cited the "positive" developments on trade and economic relations of the two countries.
"The development is positive over the last one --- one and a half year, the trade turnover grows twice and it's good because you always are advocating the development of trade and economic relations with our country. And our task is to strengthen this trend," he told Duterte during their bilateral meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, their third meeting after seeing each other on the sidelines of the East Asian Summits in 2016 in Vientiane and in 2017 in Manila.
He said they will see each other during the East Asian Summit in Thailand next month.
Medvedev said Russia is interested to continue cooperating with the Philippines on various projects, such as in transport, energy, agriculture and in humanitarian aspects.
The Russian premier welcomed Duterte in a building, which he said sometimes being called as the "White House."
But he said it was not the same White House as in the other country, apparently referring to the US.
"It is Russian house of government. It's a little bit bigger than the White House that we all know and better," he said.
For his part, Duterte noted the "remarkable progress" in the engagement of the two countries, including on strategic areas, such as defense and security.
He cited the port call of BRP Tarlac in Vladivostok in 2018, the first by a Philippine Navy ship, saying it was a "historic milestone in our relations."
Duterte said the Philippines intends to sustaining the momentum on the cooperation of the two countries in various areas, such as investment, defense and security, energy, science and technology, among others.
"I am confident we'll succeed as I see strong commitment and will from both sides to bring our relation to an even greater level," he said.
Meanwhile, on the observation by a foreign journalist on Duterte's "a bit unkempt" appearance during his meeting with Medvedev, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President has to loosen his tie because he felt suffocated.
In Malacanang's photo releases, it was noticeable that Duterte's inside polo was not fully buttoned, resulting to his loosened
Panelo said Duterte did not look unkempt.
"What those kibitzers refer to is the way he wore his tie. He loosened it up. He feels suffocated and very uncomfortable if the tie is tightly in place in the collar," he said, adding Duterte was "very hygienic" with his body emitting "refreshing scent."
On Thursday, Duterte and his delegation arrived in Sochi where he is set to hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordanian King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein. He will also attend a conference. Celerina Monte/DMS