A guard passes by the Russian naval vessel Admiral Vinogradov during a port visit in Manila, Philippines October 20, 2017. (Reuters Photo/Dondi Tawatao)
Russian Warships Dock in Philippines as Manila Cultivates New Ties
BY :MANUEL MOGATO AND RONN BAUTISTA
OCTOBER 21, 2017
Manila. Three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels, docked in Manila on Friday (20/10) to unload what navy officials said was weaponry and military vehicles donated to the Philippines as part of a new defense relationship.
It was the third port visit this year by Russian warships as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's moves to engage closely with Moscow, an arch-rival of Manila's former colonial master and closest defense ally, the United States.
The load included 5,000 assault rifles, a million rounds of ammunition and 20 army trucks, Russian and Filipino navy officials said.
"We would do our best to make this port call a significant contribution indicating friendly ties and relations between two nations in the interest of security and stability in this region," said Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of Russia's Pacific Fleet flotilla.
The visit was timed to coincide with the arrival next week of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is attending a regional defense meeting, and US counterpart Jim Mattis, a Philippine navy spokesman said.
Russia and the Philippines are expected to sign a security deal on military logistics next week.