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Duterte's Visit to Russia: Philippines Wants to Avoid 'US Dictate'

© REUTERS / Kim Kyung-HoonPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends Philippines Economic Forum in Tokyo, Japan October 26, 2016.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends Philippines Economic Forum in Tokyo, Japan October 26, 2016. - Sputnik International
On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Russia on a five-day visit. Prior to the visit, Duterte said that security and defense issues will be on the agenda of his talks in Moscow.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte prior to their bilateral meeting during the Belt and Road Forum, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 15, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Earlier, the Kremlin reported that Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to have a meeting on May 25. A package of documents is expected to be signed as a result of the talks.

In an interview with Russian media ahead of his visit, Duterte reiterated that his country should have ties with Russia and China, as Western nations are only interested in double talk and disregard the Philippines' interests.

"I have nothing against America, [US President Donald] Trump is my friend. But my foreign policy has shifted. I want to deal with China and Russia. Because in Western world, it’s double talk," he said.

"You treat me as if I'm your colony still. You must be kidding! We’re an independent country. I want my country to be treated with dignity," he added.

The Philippine president made it clear that his country’s foreign policy is going to be independent, according to Daria Panarina, a research fellow at the Institute for Oriental Studies, at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

"According to his words, he has nothing against the US, but he wants an independent foreign policy without looking back at any powers. Since the US tries to dictate and impose its will on Manila’s domestic policy, of course, Duterte wants to avoid such pressure," Panarina said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

This file photo taken on April 14, 2016 shows US marines walking next to their transport and amphibious vehicles at a temporary camp for the Balikatan joint US-Philippine military exercise at Crow Valley, in Capas town, north of Manila - Sputnik International
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She added that Russia and the Philippines could establish cooperation on a wide range of issues.

"Starting January, Russian delegations, including businessmen and politicians, have visited the Philippines. There have been very important political talks. Preliminary agreements have been made on a range of issues. During the upcoming visit, the two leaders will sign these agreements," Panarina said.

According to her, among the deals are those concerning cooperation in energy, infrastructure and construction, including new highways and railroads in the Philippines.

"Moreover, the sides plan to develop trade relations, including expanding the list of exported and imported products. From the Philippine side, it is first of all agricultural products. Russia is expected to deliver arms and oil products," Panarina said.

Russian Navy and a Philippine officer salute as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte alights from the Russian anti-submarine Navy vessel Admiral Tributs in Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On Monday, Duterte said the Philippines is interested in purchasing Russian helicopters and planes, as well as precision-guided weapons, to fight against rebels across the country.

The president said that during his visit to Russia he might try to convince his Russian counterpart to supply the Philippines with arms.

Duterte also noted that the Philippines will be open to new military alliances, including with Beijing and Moscow, if the situation regarding international security deteriorates.


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