03:42 GMT +316 December 2018
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    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte points to photographers during an awarding ceremony for outstanding government workers, at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines December 19, 2016

    Philippine President Duterte's Visit to Russia Confirmed

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    President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte will visit Russia in the spring or summer of 2017, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — President Duterte is expected to visit Moscow early this year at an invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a wide range of topics, including trade in weapons. Duterte has not ruled out a defense alliance with Russia.

    "He has an invitation, the visit will take place this year, approximately in the warm season," Morgulov said.

    The comment comes after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said last November that the country is ready to buy arms from Russia if there is money amid a rift in relations with the United States.

    Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Manila is showing interest to purchasing Russian arms.

    During a visit to Moscow in December 2016, Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Manila intended to build up its defense and security cooperation with Russia.

    In January, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte went on board of the Admiral Tributs, Russian anti-submarine destroyer, which arrived in Manila.



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