MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines, part of next year's 45th anniversary of Manila-Moscow diplomatic relations.
The Office of the President (OP) said in a statement Wednesday that Duterte invited Putin again, as he welcomed Marat Pavlov as the new Russian ambassador to the Philippines.
“It will be an opportunity to celebrate and reaffirm the enduring friendship and cooperation between our countries,” Duterte said.
Putin has never made an official trip to the Philippines.
Duterte called Russia “a good friend and partner”, noting both countries' bilateral undertaking in defense, security, health, science and technology, and economy in recent years.
He thanked Russia for its offer to provide the Philippines with its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik-5, amid the pandemic, the OP said.
Putin earlier boasted of Russia developing the world's first coronavirus vaccine.
Pavlov said production of the Sputnik vaccine in the Philippines would advance bilateral relations.
Duterte, meanwhile, received other new foreign ambassadors, including:
- Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi - Pakistan
- Shambu Kumaran - India
- Juha Markus Pyykkö - Finland
- Claudio Rojas - Chile
- Ahmed Shehabeldin - Egypt
- Titanilla Tóth - Hungary
The OP said the presentation of credentials ceremony of the new ambassadors was held virtually due to restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.