MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In May, Moscow and Manila signed eight cooperation agreements during the visit of a Philippine delegation to the Russian capital. In June, Ambassador of the Philippines to Russia Carlos Sorreta told Sputnik that one of such accords included intelligence sharing on terrorism.
"We do have some intelligence cooperation in counterterrorism and our countries [are] in contact on that matter because we recently had issues with IS. The Russian government also have some details with regard to that," Elefante said on the sidelines of the Army-2017 expo, answering a question about the ways Manila and Moscow cooperate in fighting terrorism.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is planning a working visit to the Philippines in order to sign a defense industry cooperation agreement between the two nations, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Tuesday.
"There are such plans. The issue is being worked out," Fomin told reporters speaking about Shoigu's visit to the Asian nation.
Moscow and Manila have so far not signed a single contract on defense industry cooperation. At the same time, the Philippine side has certain difficulties in purchasing new weapons from the United States as Washington imposes certain conditions on Manila. In May, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in his interview with Russian media that Manila would like to buy Russian arms, as Moscow "does not impose any conditions."
During his visit to Russia in May to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte expressed Manila's interest in advanced Russian weapons, including helicopters, planes, as well as precision-guided weapons to help combat the terror threat. According to the country's ambassador, the Philippines could sign a series of arms delivery contracts with Russia by the end of the year.
The country has shown interest in Russia's anti-terror equipment amid the ongoing operation against a Daesh-linked terrorist group.
Until now there have been no agreements on military cooperation between the Philippines and Russia, since Manila has traditionally acquired weapons from the United States.
Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said earlier that the acquisition of US arms had become problematic since Washington was hampering this issue, imposing a number of conditions on Manila.
In recent years Russia and the Philippines have been targeted by numerous terrorist attacks, such as the crash of the Russian aircraft in the Sinai desert in 2015 and the attempt of the Daesh-affiliated Maute group to attack the city of Marawi in the southern part of the Philippines.