Russia ready to ‘expand ties’ with PH, Medvedev tells Duterte

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2017 02:06 AM

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) meets with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) in Manila, Philippines November 13, 2017. Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Pool via Reuters

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met at the Coconut Palace on Monday evening and presided over the signing of several agreements between the two countries. 

Philippine and Russian representatives inked agreements on mutual assistance on criminal matters and extradition as well as cooperation in the fields of energy, communication, transport education, education, intellectual property and audit.

Duterte thanked Medvedev for Russia's assistance in the conflict in Marawi, particularly for the rifles and arms given by Russia.

"We were able to use the rifles and arms you gave us in kind and because it was a sniper model that hit one of those commanders, a certain Malaysian Mohamad, I forgot his entire name," he said.

Duterte was referring to Malaysian terrorist Mahmud Ahmad who was killed by the AFP in Marawi on October 18, 2017.

The President also disclosed to Medvedev that there are two Russians currently detained in the Philippines facing smuggling charges. He promised that they will be treated fairly and will be detained in comfortable quarters.

"Whether true or not, we will find out but I will see to it that they are treated fairly, no additional stress on their person that will happen," he promised the Russian prime minister.

Duterte said he intends to put up a trade house in Moscow where the Philippines can showcase Filipino products.

For his part, Medvedev expressed Moscow’s readyness to “expand ties” with the Philippines in various areas, including politics, trade and economic cooperation, culture, counter- terrorism and technical cooperation.

“Definitely I believe that we have opened with this a new chapter in our relationship,” Medvedev said.

“And no doubt we will keep standing by your side, we’ll keep assisting you in this very important and sensitive theme and along this track of fight against terrorism in the course like bringing or restoring law and order.”

A business-to-business agreement between Filipino company Global Ferronickels Holdings, Inc. and Russian company V Holding LLC was also signed in the presence of Duterte and Medvedev.