From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 18): Russia wants military, defense cooperation pact with PH
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev walks towards his offical car escorted by Ambassador Carlos Sorreta upon his arrival on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 1. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
RUSSIAN Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday said his government wants to work closely with the Philippine military.
“PM says Russia also seeks to open avenues for military and defense cooperation similar to their existing agreements with adjacent states,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text statement.
President Benigno Aquino III and Medvedev held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Manila.
Coloma said Medvedev “wants to intensify bilateral ties at diplomatic, business and entrepreneurial fronts.”
While the two countries have maintained diplomatic ties for almost 40 years, the Philippines is known as a close ally of the United States, which has strained relations with Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and the Syrian civil war.
Nevertheless, Aquino invited Russia to expand its trade in the industries of information technology-business process outsourcing, processed and specialty food, energy and renewables, design-driven products and aerospace.
“[President Aquino] cited great potential offered by large scale public and private sector contracts, such as AG&P’s participation in Yamal LNG project in Far East,” Coloma said.
He said Medvedev also congratulated Aquino for the “impressive performance” of the Philippine economy and that Russia is interested in economic cooperation in energy, telecommunications and transport infrastructure.
Aquino and Medvedev witnessed the signing of an agreement on the Establishment of a Philippines-Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which will facilitate and promote trade between the Philippines and Russia.
The two countries will identify measures to facilitate bilateral trade and investments.
“The Agreement envisions the participation of the private sector and business community, as well as experts in the economic field to complement governmental efforts to bolster Philippines-Russia economic cooperation,” a Malacañang statement said.
Also signed before the two leaders was a memorandum between the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Service of the Russian Federation for Narcotics Traffic Control on Cooperation in Combating New Psychoactive Substances.
In line with a 2007 agreement against trafficking of narcotic drugs, the memorandum aims to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in combatting the production, spread and abuse of psychoactive substances.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was supposed to attend the Apec Summit but begged off as Medvedev was also attending meetings in the region.
READ: Palace: Putin calls Aquino to discuss non-attendance at Apec
“PM Medvedev conveyed Pres. Putin’s felicitations and expressed his personal elation on his first visit to the Philippines,” Coloma said.
He said Medvedev cited the country’s beautiful weather.