Duterte welcomes Putin's invitation to visit Russia


Posted at Nov 24 2016 02:06 AM

DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he is open to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation for him to visit Moscow.

Duterte is an admirer of the Russian leader.

"I welcome the invitation of President Putin to visit Russia," he told reporters at a press conference in Davao City following his arrival from Lima, Peru.

He said he has directed Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to boost Manila's relations with Moscow.

"I have directed the secretaries of foreign affairs and defense to undertake an advance visit soonest to firm up substantive agenda with Moscow," Duterte said.

The president also joked that he cannot come to Russia right away due to its climate.

"Ang totoo talaga niyan, hindi ako makapunta ngayon because I cannot stand cold," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru on November 19, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev/Reuters/File

Meanwhile, Duterte announced that he has met with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss ways to broaden the two countries' economic aid to the Philippines.

Duterte said he and Xi ordered their respective officials to coordinate mechanisms that will ensure a timely follow-up and implementation of agreements between the two Asian nations.

Duterte also assured other world leaders that Philippines is implementing fiscal and economic reforms as part of a needed approach to make it the world’s top investment destination of choice.

The president boasted that the Philippines is on track with an "unparalleled trajectory of growth."