Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PH, Russia sign defense agreement, 9 other deals

From Rappler (May 25): PH, Russia sign defense agreement, 9 other deals

The two countries sign a total of 10 deals, including a defense agreement, deal to share intelligence, and share knowledge on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes

DEALS INKED. Though President Rodrigo Duterte had to cut short his Russia visit, agreements were still signed after he left for the Philippines. Presidential photo

DEALS INKED. Though President Rodrigo Duterte had to cut short his Russia visit, agreements were still signed after he left for the Philippines. Presidential photo

The Philippines and Russia sealed a total of 10 deals after President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Moscow, including an agreement on defense cooperation.

The signing of the deals by Philippine government officials took place on Wednesday, May 24, in Moscow, a day after Duterte flew back to the Philippines earlier than scheduled due to the Maute Group attacks in Marawi.

At the time of the signing by Philippine Cabinet officials, the deals were already signed by the concerned Russian ministers.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano led the signing ceremony in the presence of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, and Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

Among the deals signed was the Agreement on Defense Cooperation between the Philippines and Russia.

The agreement will pave the way for more exchanges between the Philippines' Department of National Defense and Russia's Ministry of Defense.

"The forms of cooperation will take the form of official visits, exchange and experiences in consultation, participation of observers in military training exercises, military port calls," said the Philippines' Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta.

Duterte's request for a soft loan from Russia for the purchase of arms was not part of the defense deal.

Cayetano said the Russian government is open to providing such assistance but that the Philippine government will first have to send a "shopping list" of products it is requesting for.

Below is the list of the 10 agreements signed:
  • Agreement on Defense Cooperation
  • Tourism Joint Action Program 2017-2019 – Tourism departments of both the Philippines and Russia commit to promote each others' tourism industries and exchange best practices.
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Cooperation – Agriculture departments of both countries agree to cooperate through research in agriculture and fisheries, processing and transportation of agriculture and fishery products.
  • Agreement on Cooperation on Transportation – Transportation departments of both countries agree to an exchange of technology and best practices. They agree to provide technical assistance and collaborate on research projects and host educational visits for each others' personnel.
  • Protocol on Cooperation between the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines and the Ministry of Culture for the Russian Federation – The parties agree to participate in international film and art festivals held in each other’s countries. They also agree to "consider the possibility" of holding events celebrating their culture in the other country – a day of Philippine culture to be celebrated in Russia or a day of Russian culture to be celebrated in the Philippines.
  • Memorandum of Intent between Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry and Russia's Ministry of Economic Development – This deal aims to foster mutually beneficial trade and investment by information exchange on the investment environment in their countries, and by holding business missions and workshops.
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Industry Development – The two countries agree to promote ways for their respective industrial sectors to work together by, for example, helping Philippine or Russian companies becoming subcontractors for industries in the other country.
  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines and the State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes – In this deal, ROSATOM agrees to share its knowledge and experience in the use of nuclear energy as a power source.
  • Agreement on Exhange of intelligence information – Signed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr and his Russian counterpart, this deal involves intelligence and security agencies of their countries exchanging information that could help in addressing security threats and arresting criminals.
  • Plan of Consultations between the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs and Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs – The deal fosters more interaction between the various offices of the two parties, including those overseas. For instance, the United Nations offices of both countries can consult directly with each other.

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