15:43 GMT01 December 2020
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    Russia and the Philippines on Wednesday signed a total of eight cooperation agreements at a ceremony held in Moscow, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Following the signing ceremony, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that Moscow and Manila signed agreements that were devoted to cooperation in the fields of agriculture, defense, humanitarian issues, industry, nuclear energy, transportation, trade and tourism.

    "I'd like to thank our host, the Russian Federation, especially President [Vladimir] Putin. On the instructions of President Duterte, [I'd like to express] our appreciation for his understanding of the situation in the Philippines and the necessity for President Duterte to return home andcut short his trip. We thank his excellency President Putin for most graciously adjusting his schedule," Cayetano said at a press conference.

    The foreign secretary said the Filipino president was interested in getting the best equipment for the Armed Forces to fight terrorism while avoiding collateral damage.

    He said Russia was open for contracts with the Philippines. "President Putin was very generous. He said we have framework in place to cooperate. Make the proposals. We will study them and we will do all efforts to accommodate," Cayetano told reporters.

    He stressed that neither Russia nor the Philippines was seeking to build a military alliance and the military equipment the Filipino government had an eye on – including smart bombs – would only be used for counter-terrorism purposes.

    "We have said many times there is no military alliance being established. I read Russia does not have a military interest in Southeast Asia," he said.

    President Duterte arrived in Moscow on Tuesday with an official visit that was to last until Friday. He had to return to the Philippines after clashes with Islamist militias broke out on the Mindanao Island, prompting him to declare martial law. Opening the Tuesday talks with his Filipino counterpart, President Putin said that the countries had good prospects for developing ties in many areas including engineering, transport infrastructure, energy and military-technical cooperation.


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    cooperation agreement, meeting, Rodrigo Duterte, Russia, Philippines
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