Philippine- Russian relations is now on an upswing.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s independent foreign policy extending friendship to Russia is bearing fruit. To build a stronger ties with Russia and China is considered as one of the foreign policy of his administration.
Today is a historic moment for the Philippine-Russian relations since this is the first time Russia donated military equipments to the country. It has been known that our Armed Forces has been reliant on US made military hardwares. *
|20 military trucks along with the 5,000 units od the AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles, ! million pieces of ammunition and 5,000 steel helmets all of which were donated by Russia to the Philippines, at no cost to the country. (photo credit to owner)
The donation is composed of 5,000 units of AK-47M Kalashnikov rifles, 20 multi-purpose vehicles, 1 million pieces of ammunition, and 5,000 steel helmets. The formal donation turnover was witnessed by Duterte during his tour of the Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Pantaleyev.
Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire to procure military hardware from Russia, brought about by the reports that the US State Department had stopped its rifle sales to our Philippine National Police, following opposition from US Senator Ben Cardin.
China a few weeks ago also gave the country 3,000 units of assault rifle, Defense Secretary Lorenzana said that the said assault rifles will be used by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
US on Russian donation.
It is very evident that there is warming of ties between Russia and the Philippines under the presidency of Duterte, Manila’s only treaty ally the United States is unruffled by it.
"I'm not really threatened by this notion that China or Russia are providing some military equipment to the Philippines," Kim told a small group of reporters traveling with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
"We have been providing very important equipment to the Philippines for many, many years. The fact that the Chinese and the Russians have provided some rifles, I'm not sure is really such a cause for concern for the United States." *
US President Donald Trump will visit the country for the ASEAN meeting, and that shows support to the US-PHL far deeper ties with each other.
"President Duterte has made clear that even as he pursues improved relations with countries like China and Russia, he will continue to focus on making sure that the US-Philippines alliance remains strong," Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said.
Report from ABS-CBN website