President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines and Russia have agreed to broaden and deepen their ties in all areas of cooperation – from security and defense, to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.
In his speech during his arrival at the F. Bangoy International Airport, he said his visit generated greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.
“This is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility. We reaffirmed the Philippines’ strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism,” he said.
He added that during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, they came up with bilateral cooperation agreements on the peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations.
“These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests,” he said.
He bared that more than PHP620 million in business deals were signed during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum in Moscow which he said would generate more jobs and economic opportunities for many Filipinos.
Duterte also stressed that the reinvigorated friendship with Russia started to bear fruits, citing the accreditation of two additional Philippine fishery establishments done by the Russian government.
“This will allow Filipino fishing companies to export our tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc,” he added.
However, the President said that the surge of Russian tourists and investors in the country would not come early, but remains optimistic of various exploratory visits from the Russian government.
“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth. The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that towards that end,” he said. (PNA)