21:17 GMT +323 March 2017
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    Admiral Tributs destroyer

    Russia to Sell ‘Sophisticated’ Arms To Manila After Foreign Policy U-Turn

    © RIA Novosti. Vitaly Ankov
    Military & Intelligence
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    One day following the Russian Navy’s arrival in the Philippines to run regional threat-assessment drills, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev expressed Moscow’s enthusiasm to equip the island nation with high-tech military hardware.

    While Russia will operate “in full compliance with international law,” Khovaev said that Russia is “ready to supply small arms and light weapons, some aeroplanes, helicopters, submarines, and many, many other weapons. Sophisticated weapons. Not the second-hand ones.”

    Duterte has made good on his promise to weaken ties with Washington after welcoming Russian warships for unprecedented navy-to-navy maritime exercises between Moscow and Manila. Russian Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov indicated that the war games would focus on two scenarios most likely to destabilize the region’s waters, maritime piracy and terrorism.

    Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s pivot from ties with the US launched into overdrive in October 2016, when he said in a speech that US President Barack Obama to "go to hell" for treating the country "like a doormat."

    From the deck of the anti-submarine cruiser Admiral Tributs, Khovaev emphasized a stronger Moscow-Manila bond did not have to be at the expense of souring ties with Washington, suggesting that economic cooperation can bring mutual benefits to the parties involved, and diversifying one’s foreign partners is simply smart economics. "It's not a choice between these partners and those ones. Diversification means preserving and keeping old traditional partners and getting new ones. So Russia is ready to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines," he said. 

    The Ambassador also expressed that Russia does not intend to "interfere" with Manila’s relations to its "traditional partners," a clear nod to Washington, which once held the Philippines as a territory before allowing Manila to engage in self-rule.

    But Washington has its own share of problems with the outspoken Filipino leader. US Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), ranking member of the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, denied the sale of 26,000 automatic M4 assault rifles to the Philippines, as a punitive measure for the state-sanctioned killings of thousands of Filipinos, after they were accused of using illegal drugs.

    Duterte shot back: “look at these monkeys. The 26,000 firearms we wanted to buy, they don’t want to sell,” before saying he would look to Beijing and Moscow to expand Manila’s arsenal.  

    Since Duterte rose to power on June 30, 2016, conservative estimates suggest that over 2,300 people have been killed at the hands of Filipino police officers or vigilantes, in connection with Duterte’s bid to eliminate narcotics use by simply killing all of those thought to be involved, whether proven or not.

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    Tags:
    arms deal, M4 Assault Rifles, US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Ben Cardin, Igor Khovaev, Rodrigo Duterte, Washington, Moscow, Philippines
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    • avatar
      copius
      Keep your screwed weapons USA.
      Russian weapons are far more superior and cheaper to maintain.
      Welcome to the new Pivot from Asia.
      Close the door on your way out.
      Russian intel are welcomed to our islands to make CIA operatives disappear in the night.
    • avatar
      Glamoureus
      Decades of US ruling over Philipines and what disnUS for them?

      No evolution.

      As Russian I encurage everyone who wants to leave the slavery of US Imperium.

      And I've been traveling in Asia alot, kind people everywhere! Not to be said the same of Yanks and Wester Europe...
    • Hermes
      I wonder what it was that provoked President Rodrigo Duterte’s U-turn. Was USA &Co planning a coup against him too like they did in Turkeye?
      There are some strange partnerships in the east anyway. I don't know what to think about Vietnam's 'friendly' relations with USA. Does Vietnam think USA are less bigger psychopaths now then when the were when they murdered millions of vietnamese a couple of decades ago.
      Hardly likely since psychopathy is an incurable disease.
      It has many faces though and one might easily be misled.
    • avatar
      Randall Lee Hilburnin reply toGlamoureus(Show commentHide comment)
      Glamoureus, The US has a habit of unloading overpriced weapons that don't work, or ones that are old and worn out onto their partners and allies during arms deals. The Russians appear to be much more honest and ethical when it comes to the arms trade.
    • avatar
      Randall Lee Hilburnin reply toHermes(Show commentHide comment)
      Hermes, The people of Vietnam I'm sure know better than to trust the United States. The US has simply bought the politicians that run the country. That was how they kept control of the Philippines, until they ran into a man that couldn't be bought.
    • Hermesin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
      Randall Lee Hilburn,
      if you reason logically it almost has to be something like that but it could also be some yet unknown type of Stockholm syndrom.
      I think it's very unfortunate Vietnam allowed itself to be used as a pawn to destabilize the region. It's really sad to see a country go that low.
      To me it looks like most of the region is in some kind of tumoil. Don't you think there are strange things happening in South Korea too?
    • avatar
      Randall Lee Hilburnin reply toHermes(Show commentHide comment)
      Hermes, Though they won the war the Vietnamese people were very traumatized by it. This may have made them reluctant to stand up to the US again. That may be making it easier for the US to manipulate them. Also the US offered to help rebuild the country in exchange for Vietnam becoming an American vassal. Of course the leaders of the country got their cut of the funds provided. That's how the bribes were arranged. The country in the process has been opened up to American based multinational corporations and that normally puts paid to any genuine independence for a small country. They in effect simply steal a country out from under its rightful owners.

      Vietnam and China have an on again off again feud going back centauries that the Americans are stirring up again in order to be able to use the Vietnamese against the Chinese. This old dispute would have to be settled once and for all if the US plans for the area are to be thwarted. But old hatreds that have become part of the racial memory of a people are extremely difficult to overcome.

      As for South Korea, I believe that if the US would stop stirring up trouble on the peninsula the two countries would soon get together. There was talk of this union until the US goaded North Korea into developing nuclear weapons in self-defense. A peaceful unification of Korea would undermine the US position vis a vis both China and Russia. Korea would make an ideal base for military operations against both countries as well as their ally Mongolia. North Koreans would never agree to being a US doormat, and many in the South are tired of being one. Therefore the US has to constantly cause conflict so they can have justification for staying on the very strategic Korean peninsula.

      If you are familiar with the game of chess you can see how all of the maneuvering by the two sides in East Asia and the Western Pacific resembles a game of chess being played on a colossal scale. But unfortunately one that has the potential of becoming a nuclear WW3. It all comes down to who outmaneuvers who. If the Chinese and the Russians are successful then the world is safe. But if the US is successful then all bets are off. Because if they gain what appears to be a decisive advantage they are going to try and exploit it all they possibly can.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64
      I cannot say I totally agree with the terms of endearment.... aka the selling of arms in exchange for good relations. I think this is putting the horse before the cart. Good will and relations first then arms deals. After all relations between countries are based on mutual respect and geo political/economic interests that converge.
    • avatar
      jas
      Duterte’s bid to eliminate narcotics use by simply killing all of those thought to be involved, whether proven or not.
      ---
      I don't think that is true. Duterte wouldn't have the support he has if he was killing or having killed so many random civilians.
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      hopscotch64...the selling of arms is not in exchange for good relationships its to protect that good relationship, subtle but important difference and a more positive stance to the one you portrayed.

      Do you not think with history (recent) as a guide that the Philippines will need to protect itself? if US wont supply why would Russia follow suite there is no real logic to what you have posted.
    • city-zen
      Is it about CIA Afganistan produced opium?
      If so, we call it Philippinian Opium War.

      "Diversification means preserving and keeping old traditional partners and getting new ones."
      Great sentence - this is also how individual people interact in a healthy society!
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