Duterte asking for bilateral meeting with Putin
President Rodrigo Duterte said he is asking for a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to boost economic ties between the two countries during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting in Lima, Peru this week.
In an interview with reporters Tuesday night, Duterte said he did not have any issue to be raised with Putin if his request for a bilateral meeting would be granted.
"I want to be friends with him. I just want the two countries to be the best of friends, and this is an economic world," he said.
He said if there are things which the Philippines could sell or export to Russia or vice versa, it would be better.
During the call of Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev on Duterte on Tuesday, he said he reiterated his desire to have a bilateral meeting with Putin.
With his policy for the Philippines to move away from the United States, Duterte has said the country would further its relations with China and Russia.
He has also said that Putin is his "idol."
Duterte will leave for Peru on Thursday. He will take the route via New Zealand instead of the US in going to Lima to join the other 20 APEC leaders in the meeting on November 19 to 20. Celerina Monte/DMS