Putin vows Russia ready to aid Philippines on its campaign vs terrorism
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to assist the Philippines on its war against terrorism.
In their bilateral meeting on Thursday at Polyana Hotel in Sochi, Russia, Putin said the Philippines is "a very important" partner of Russia in Asia.
"We are prepared to develop our partnership when it comes to countering terrorism and share our experience and all the developments," he told Duterte.
He recalled that during Duterte's first visit to Russia in May 2017, the Filipino leader had to cut it short due to terrorist attacks committed by ISIS terrorists in Marawi City.
"And over the last two years, you have managed to lower the level of terrorist threat in your country and to strengthen the potential of your security bodies," Putin said.
The Russian leader also underscored Duterte's "personal attention" on the revitalizing the political dialogue of the two countries and on the "lots of success" in the trade and economic cooperation.
He noted that last year, trade between the two countries has grown two-fold to reach more than $1.2 billion, while exports expanded by four-fold.
Putin said Russia wants to increase industrial cooperation with the Philippines.
"We highly appreciate your visit to Russia and it would benefit our bilateral relationships," he said.
Duterte has pushed for an independent foreign policy by not relying too much to its traditional ally, the United States. He decided to further develop cooperation with China and Russia. Celerina Monte/DMS