Philippines Open to Joint Military Drills With Russia

A Philippine Navy Band plays as the Russian Navy vessel Admiral Tributs, a large anti-submarine ship, docks at Manila's pier, Philippines on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte said through his spokesman that he is open to joint drills with Russia.

     MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would be open to the idea of conducting joint military exercises with Russia, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Thursday.
    “The president has said that he is open to joint military exercises with Russia, the goodwill visit by the Russian Navy will contribute to the strengthening of friendship with the Philippine navy, it also is an indication of our maritime cooperation can further be enhanced by naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” Abella said at a press briefing.
     On Tuesday, Russia’s Admiral Tributs anti-submarine destroyer and Boris Butoma sea tanker arrived in the Philippines for a four-day visit. During the press conference dedicated to the visit, Rear Adm. Eduard Mikhailov said that the Russian and Philippine governments would negotiate potential bilateral navy drills soon.
     The United States sees no problem in the potential joint military exercises between the Russian and Philippine navies, US Department of State spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.
    In October, Duterte announced his country could build a defense and economic alliance with Russia and China.
    On November 20, the Philippine president said he planned to send defense and foreign ministers to prepare for his visit to Russia at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Duterte is expected to visit Moscow later this year to hold talks on a wide range of agreements from weapons to communications.

Russia Ready to Assist Philippines in Boosting Defense Capabilities

Philippine soldiers

Moscow is ready to help Manila ratchet up its defense capabilities but establishing a military union is not on agenda.

     Russia is ready to assist the Philippines in boosting its defense capability, but there are no plans to establish a military alliance with Manila, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said Friday.
    “We are considering the Philippines as a promising partner in the Asia-Pacific region. We are ready to render Manila assistance in strengthening its defense capability. But certainly, there is no talk of forming a Russian-Phillippine military alliance,” Morgulov told RIA Novosti.
    In October, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his country could build a defense and economic alliance with Russia and China.

Philippines Ready to Buy Arms From Russia Amid Crisis in Relations With US


 The 10th Russia Arms Expo international exhibition's opening

   Philippines are ready to buy arms from Russia if there is money amid a rift in relations with the United States, the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.

On November 8, Duterte claimed he would cancel an order for 26,000 US-made M16 rifles, originally intended to arm the country’s national police, to “look for a cheaper source.”

   “He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] was pleased to hear our offer of friendship, pleased with the fact that the initiative came from us. Not because we need money … or arms. If we have money, we will buy them [arms],” Duterte told the Rossiya-24 broadcaster.

   The Philippine president stressed that his country did not participate “in any military blocs.”

   “We have not discussed anything similar neither with Russia, nor with China, except the issues of trade, finance and economy. But, perhaps, in the future we will have to do business with the European Union and Russia in the area of arms trade since it seems that the Americans have canceled orders on arms supplies [to the Philippines],” Duterte said.

  On November 19, Putin was taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council the Peruvian capital of Lima. On the sidelines of the event, the Russian leader held a separate meeting with his Philippine counterpart.

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov met the Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense of the Philippines Raymundo De Vera Elefante


On September 7, the Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov has met the Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense of the Philippines Raymundo De Vera Elefante within the International military and technical forum Army-2016.

The parties confirmed the mutual interest in strengthening of relationships between the military departments of both countries as well as in development of bilateral dialogue on global and regional security, naval interaction and cooperation in the field of preparation of military personnel of the Philippines in the educational institutions of the Russian Defence Ministry.

Anatoly Antonov paid attention to the necessity of improvement of the legal framework of cooperation for intensification of contacts in the military field.

The negotiations were held in a friendly atmosphere.