Rus­sia vows to stand by PH

Nine deals signed as ties be­tween the two coun­tries reach new level

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

Rus­sia vowed to stand by the Philip­pines as both coun­tries signed nine agree­ments at the side­lines of the 31st As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) Sum­mit in Manila late Mon­day evening, un­der­scor­ing the new level of re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries.

The sign­ing was made dur­ing Pres­i­dent Duterte’s bi­lat­eral meet­ing with Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev where both reaf­firmed the close ties be­tween

their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

The two lead­ers wit­nessed the sign­ing of the Treaty on Mu­tual Le­gal As­sis­tance in Crim­i­nal Mat­ters; Treaty on Ex­tra­di­tion; and a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) on Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Depart­ment of En­ergy and the State Atomic En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion “Rosatom” of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion.

Also signed were MOU on Co­op­er­a­tion in the Field of Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions; MOU on the De­vel­op­ment of Co­op­er­a­tion in Trans­port Ed­u­ca­tion; and an MOU be­tween the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Sci­ence of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion.

An MOU be­tween the In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Of­fice of the Philip­pines and the Fed­eral Ser­vice for In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion; the Agree­ment on Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines and the Ac­counts Cham­ber of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion; and the Agree­ment of Co­op­er­a­tion and Part­ner­ship be­tween Philippine com­pany Vi Hold­ing LLC and Rus­sian com­pany Global Fer­ronickel Hold­ings Inc., were also signed. PH-Rus­sia ties reach new level Medvedev said the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Philip­pines and Rus­sia must have reached an­other level for them to still meet each other hap­pily even late in the evening af­ter meet­ing with other world lead­ers.

Medvedev also com­mended Duterte for host­ing the ASEAN Sum­mit suc­cess­fully and ac­knowl­edged how tir­ing it must be.

“To host such event is a dif­fi­cult work and I know that today you have had very lots of meet­ings with dif­fer­ent heads of gov­ern­ment, state and gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tions that is dif­fi­cult and quite tir­ing,” Medvedev told Duterte dur­ing their bi­lat­eral meet­ing.

“But the fact that we are meet­ing with you quite late at night points to a new level of our part­ner­ship, of our re­la­tions,” he added.

Rus­sia stands by PH The Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter said both coun­tries have opened a new chap­ter in their re­la­tions and as­sured Duterte that Rus­sia is ready to ex­pand ties with the Philip­pines, es­pe­cially in coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism.

“And def­i­nitely, we are ready to ex­pand our ties in all the ar­eas and di­men­sions, in­clud­ing pol­i­tics and trade eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, cul­tural ties, as well as co­op­er­a­tion and in­ter­ac­tion on quite sen­si­tive things and spheres such as fight against ter­ror­ism and mu­tual tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion and arms sup­plies,” Medvedev said.

“No doubt we will keep stand­ing by your side, we’ll keep as­sist­ing you in this very im­por­tant and sen­si­tive theme and along this track of fight against ter­ror­ism in the course like bring­ing or restor­ing law and order,” he added.

Duterte, for his part, thanked Medvedev for Rus­sia’s as­sis­tance to the Philip­pines dur­ing the Marawi cri­sis.

“We are grat­i­fied by your pres­ence so that also we can ex­press our de­sire to thank you per­son­ally and the Rus­sian peo­ple and gov­ern­ment for help­ing us on a cru­cial mo­ment dur­ing the war in Marawi,” he said.

“We were able to use the ri­fles and the arms that you gave us on time,” he added, not­ing that it was a Rus­sian sniper model which neu­tral­ized one of the top three com­man­ders of the Daesh-in­spired ter­ror­ists.

Com­fort for Rus­sian drug sus­pects

Mean­while, Duterte as­sured Medvedev that ar­rested Rus­sian drug sus­pects Yuri Kirdyushkin and Anas­ta­sia Novopashina would get fair treat­ment whether the charges against them were true or not.

“I would just like to say that we have a work­ing func­tional jus­tice sys­tem here and they will get a fair trial and that they will be de­tained in a com­fort­able house,” he said.

PH prod­ucts in Rus­sia

Duterte also thanked Medvedev for con­sid­er­ing to al­low the Philip­pines to ex­hibit Filipino prod­ucts in Rus­sia.

“We have started an im­prove­ment of our friend­ship and the plan in­creases of our trade, ex­pand it and I know that your coun­try is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing all of these things and we are happy that we can find a new mar­ket in the Eurasian front,” Duterte said. Ac­cord­ing to Duterte, the Philip­pines in­tends to have a small open­ing so the coun­try can do busi­ness with other coun­tries.

“But we in­tend to build a house where we can ex­hibit our prod­ucts. It might be a lit­tle – ex­change of the trade – that will be placed there in Moscow per­haps were the Rus­sian peo­ple can view what prod­ucts that we are go­ing to of­fer,” he said.

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