Russia offers to replace U.S. as Philippines arms supplier

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with Russian president Vladimir Putin

Russia is ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons including aircraft and submarines and aims to become a close friend of the traditional U.S. ally as it diversifies its foreign ties, Russia’s ambassador said on Wednesday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has thrown the future of Philippine-U.S. relations into question with angry outbursts against the former colonial power and some scaling back of military ties while taking steps to boost ties with China and Russia.

Illustrating the transformation of Philippine foreign relations since Duterte took office in June, two Russian warships are on four-day visit to Manila this week, the first official navy-to-navy contact between the two countries.

 Russian Ambassador Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev took the opportunity to hold a news conference on board the anti-submarine vessel Admiral Tributs.

He said he understood that the Philippines was intent on diversifying its foreign partners.

“It’s not a choice between these partners and those ones. Diversification means preserving and keeping old traditional partners and getting new ones. So Russia is ready to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines,” he said.

“We don’t interfere with your relations with your traditional partners and your traditional partners should respect the interest of the Philippines and Russia.”

The Russian navy visit comes less than a month after Duterte sent his foreign and defence ministers to Moscow to discuss arms deals after a U.S. senator said he would block the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippines due to concern about a rising death toll in a war on drugs launched by Duterte.

Khovaev said Russia had a range of weapons to offer.

“We are ready to supply small arms and light weapons, some aeroplanes, helicopters, submarines and many, many other weapons. Sophisticated weapons. Not the second-hand ones,” Khovaev said.

“Russia has a lot to offer but everything will be done in full compliance with international law.” .

He said it was too early to talk about the scope of military cooperation but, in a clear reference to the United States, said old allies should not worry.

“Your traditional partners should not be concerned about the military ties … If they are concerned, it means they need to get rid of clichés,” he said.

Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, head of the Flotilla of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet, said on Tuesday Russia wanted to hold maritime exercises with the Philippines to help combat terrorism and piracy.

The United States and the Philippines have been holding naval exercises annually but Duterte has decided to reduce the number of exercises and to move naval drills away from the disputed South China Sea, to reassure China, which is suspicious of U.S. military movements in the disputed waters.

REUTERS

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4 responses to “Russia offers to replace U.S. as Philippines arms supplier”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar
    5thDrawer

    Lighten up … Philippines Folks had their elections …
    AND, on his way to see the Japanese (since so many in the Philippines died under Japanese hands), to have a first ‘friendly’ chat in aeons, Rodrigo ‘heard God’s words’, and will not say ‘swear words’ about ‘others’ any more, the Russian business of weapon disposal should do fairly well – considering the rather small amount the ‘overall income’ will be afforded by taking down drug gangs, and various other ‘Malcontents’ making the people suffer (anarchists); while they also try to make the newer taxes up. And surely Putin agrees with business – as he tries to make Americans see that Trump can also ‘get the business’ very well. Indeed, one or a few ‘virtual dictators’ can enjoy each other in ‘Business’ … right?
    These days, America seems to have had it all wrong … but then, who’s really leading Americans?
    (and that guy is going to trial for … errr … theft? Hmmm … strange the ‘Housing/Meltdown’ people weren’t recognized in quite the same way … (and one reason ‘they’ are upset with Obama for allowing a vote to finally go through the UN even after having ‘extra’ money punted at them – which can’t be a readily changed bit of paper, unless the ‘UN’ concept is killed off too.))
    [ working on that too, perhaps? ]
    And perhaps Rodrigo would do even better to not be swearing at anyone willing to help a country ‘get straight’ – FOR his people, in their ways, if they can afford it. ‘No weapons anywhere’ should be best, of course, but that’s too late in the convoluted ‘world’ facing us all lately, in it’s seemingly total lack of human ‘morality’ of only a past few years, thanks to many ‘scammers’ working hard on ‘The Nets’ – and catching many fish with their ‘ways’.
    Naturally, “reassuring China” – while another kettle of fish – would be a nice thing to recognize a ‘need’ for.

    1. I personally blame Obama . All this guy Duterte needed was some attention. Obama treated him like an adult and look what happened, he acted like a teen and cursed the US president several times. May be Duterte should learn some lessons and allowed to deal with Russia …. I bet you he will be biting his nails in no time, because Putin will be treating him like dirt . I know how the Russians operate.
      I wonder what will happen when you squeeze a Trump between these 2 jerks . I will leave this up to your imagination

      1. Niemals Avatar

        Trump will react with a new Twitter massage, as usually….

        Politics is done via Twitter, and all Twitter users become politicians.

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