Rody ready to ex­pand trade with Rus­sia

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By CHRISTINA MEN­DEZ

Pres­i­dent Duterte has ex­pressed the Philip­pines’ will­ing­ness to ex­pand re­la­tions with Rus­sia, par­tic­u­larly trade, dur­ing his bi­lat­eral meet­ing with Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev on the side­lines of the 31st As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) Sum­mit.

The bi­lat­eral meet­ing be­tween Duterte and Medvedev was a fol­lowup to Duterte’s meet­ing with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin last Fri­day dur­ing the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Sum­mit in Viet­nam, where Putin also cited the need for bet­ter trade re­la­tions with the Philip­pines.

Dur­ing his talks with Medvedev, Duterte said the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment in­tends to set up a place in Moscow where Filipinos can show­case their prod­ucts. “We have started an im­prove­ment of our friend­ship and the plan (is to) in­crease 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 Euro, Eurasian front,” Duterte said in his open­ing re­marks dur­ing the bi­lat­eral meet­ing.

“We would only want a small open­ing so we can do business with the other coun­tries,” he added.

Medvedev said Rus­sia is also ready to ex­pand bi­lat­eral ties with the Philip­pines.

“We are ready to ex­pand our ties in all the ar­eas and di­men­sions, in­clud­ing pol­i­tics and trade eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, cul­tural ties,” Medvedev said dur­ing the meet­ing on Mon­day.

Co­op­er­a­tion vs ter­ror­ism

Medvedev also said Rus­sia is will­ing to boost co­op­er­a­tion in the fight against ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism, and to sup­ply more weapons to the Philip­pines in or­der to main­tain peace and or­der.

“I be­lieve that we have opened with this a new chap­ter in our re­la­tion­ship. And 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 the fight against ter­ror­ism in the course, like bring­ing or restor­ing law and or­der,” he added.

Duterte thanked Rus­sia for its as­sis­tance at a “cru­cial mo­ment” dur­ing the re­bel­lion in Marawi City.

Last month, Rus­sia do­nated 5,000 units of AK-74M Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fles and one mil­lion units 1943-type car­tridges with steel core bul­lets to the Philip­pines.

“We were able to use the ri­fles and the arms that you gave us on time,” Duterte said.

Duterte also brought up the topic of Rus­sians Yuri Kirdyushkin and Anas­ta­sia Novopashina, who are cur­rently de­tained in the Philip­pines on drug-re­lated charges.

“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. Whether true or not, we will find out but I will see to it that they are treated fairly,” he said.

Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev is shown with Pres­i­dent Duterte dur­ing their bi­lat­eral meet­ing at the Co­conut Palace in Pasay City yes­ter­day.

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