Cap­tain Alex­sei Ulya­nenko gives Pres­i­dent Duterte a tour of the Rus­sian guided mis­sile cruiser Varyag yes­ter­day. The war­ship is in Manila for a four-day good­will visit.

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By ALEXIS ROMERO

The Philip­pines and Rus­sia are ex­pected to forge a de­fense co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment dur­ing Pres­i­dent Duterte’s visit to Moscow next month, his national se­cu­rity ad­viser said yes­ter­day.

“De­fense co­op­er­a­tion will be fi­nal­ized when the Pres­i­dent vis­its Moscow by the end of May,” national se­cu­rity ad­viser Her­mo­genes Esperon Jr. told re­porters after Duterte’s visit to Rus­sian ship Varyag in South Har­bor, Manila.

“De­fense co­op­er­a­tion will come in the form of train­ing, prob­a­bly some ex­change of in­for­ma­tion,” he added.

Asked if the Philip­pines and Rus­sia would hold joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, Esperon said: “That’s a long way to go but it can come to that later on.”

“We don’t re­ally in­tend to go into al­liances, which is a tighter agree­ment. But we can go into part­ner­ships in mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial ac­tiv­i­ties,” he added.

Esperon said Duterte’s planned visit to Moscow was men­tioned dur­ing his visit to the guided mis­sile cruiser Varyag.

“(Rus­sia) am­bas­sador (to the Philip­pines Igor) Kho­vaev is here… When the Pres­i­dent was about to come down, ‘Mr. Pres­i­dent, we will see you in May for the trip to Moscow,’” he said.

Duterte is sched­uled to visit Rus­sia on May 25 to strengthen ties be­tween Manila and Moscow.

In Novem­ber, Duterte and Rus­sia Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin met on the side­lines of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion meet in Lima, Peru to dis­cuss ways to en­hance the ties be­tween their coun­tries.

Ship visit

Duterte also toured the Rus­sian ship Varyag, which docked in Manila Thurs­day morn­ing for a four-day port call.

“It was in keep­ing with the in­vi­ta­tion ex­tended to the Pres­i­dent to visit the ship. It is show­ing that their com­ing here is show of good­will; the visit of the Pres­i­dent is also a show of good­will,” Esperon said.

At Pier 15, the Pres­i­dent was ac­corded ar­rival honors by the Rus­sian Navy con­tin­gent. He was ac­com­pa­nied by Esperon, act­ing For­eign Sec­re­tary En­rique Manalo and se­nior Philip­pine mil­i­tary of­fi­cials.

Duterte first went to the up­per deck where the short-range anti-mis­sile rocket sys­tem is lo­cated. He then pro­ceeded to the mid-ship where the long-range anti-air­craft mis­sile rocket sys­tem is placed.

The Pres­i­dent also went to the bow, where the ship’s main weapon or long dis­tance an­ti­ship mis­sile and anti-air­craft car­rier is lo­cated.

“The Rus­sians are with me, I shall not be afraid,” the Pres­i­dent while pos­ing for a photo with Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

Duterte also toured the ship mu­seum and the ad­mi­ral’s room for the guest book sign­ing.

“He (Duterte) is im­pressed. This is an old ship. The Pres­i­dent has not boarded so many ships so he took time to come here,” Esperon said.

Esperon clar­i­fied that there are no ex­er­cises sched­uled be­tween the Philip­pine and Rus­sian navies.

“When they go out of the port, it is cus­tom­ary for our naval ship to see them off. Prob­a­bly in the vicin­ity of Cor­regi­dor,” the national se­cu­rity ad­viser said.

In Jan­uary, Duterte also toured the Rus­sian large anti-sub­ma­rine ship Ad­mi­ral Tributs, which also an­chored in the coun­try for a good­will visit.

Pres­i­dent Duterte is given a tour of the Rus­sian guided mis­sile cruiser 'Varyag' that ar­rived in Manila yes­ter­day for a four-day good­will visit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.