CLARK (Philippines) (Sputnik) — Russia considers the Philippines to be a promising regional partner and is working to further strengthen defense ties, Russian Defense Minister Army Gen. Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday at a meeting with his Philippine counterpart Delfin Lorenzana.
"The leaders of our states have outlined the strategic priorities of bilateral cooperation. Active work is being conducted today to implement the agreements reached, including to further strengthen ties in the defense sphere," Shoigu said as he and his counterpart signed an agreement on defense industry cooperation.
The first ever contract to supply Russian RPG-7V grenade launchers to the Philippines has been signed as well in Clark, where the meeting of the defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries is being held..
During his May visit to Russia 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 also shown interest in Russia's anti-terror equipment amid the ongoing operation against a Daesh-linked terrorist group.