Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Leila B. Salaverria @LeilasINQ

The Philippine­s and Russia have vowed to work together in the fight against COVID-19, a commitment made during a phone call between President Duterte and President Vladimir Putin.

Malacañang said the two leaders spoke for 30 minutes on Tuesday afternoon (Manila time) in an “open and productive telesummit” that underscore­d the importance of increasing vaccine production and the need to mobilize Russia-made jabs to as many countries as possible.


Mr. Duterte thanked Putin for Russia’s commitment to bolster cooperatio­n in various areas, including the pandemic response, the Palace said in a statement.

“Both Presidents discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russia’s Sputnik V must be mobilized to as many countries as possible,” the Palace said.

Malacanang also confirmed that the Philippine­s would be ordering 20,000,000 doses of Sputnik V developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiolo­gy and Microbiolo­gy.

The two leaders also “stressed the importance of ramping up global production and supply” of the vaccine.

‘Steady progress’

They also noted the “steady progress” in defense and security cooperatio­n between the Philippine­s and Russia, including “regular exchanges between the defense, intelligen­ce and military agencies” of the two nations.

They “vowed to sustain the momentum gained over the past five years,” the Palace said.

“President Putin highlighte­d the positive trajectory of Russia-Philippine­s relations and emphasized the many opportunit­ies for greater cooperatio­n in the fields of trade and investment­s, agricultur­e and energy developmen­t even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperatio­n,” the Palace said.

Mr. Duterte reiterated his invitation for Putin to visit the Philippine­s when circumstan­ces allow, a gesture welcomed by the Russian leader, it added.

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