MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. The Philippines is studying the possibility to purchase naval ships from Russia and is comparing Moscow’s conditions with other proposals, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta told TASS in an interview.
"We are looking at the naval vessels," he said. "We have already had people come here look at the documents, look at the vessels. And the process will continue. They will have to look at others also, other countries and then come up with a decision."
"Russian equipment is getting to be very desirable for many developing countries," he went on. "They prefer Russian equipment and the terms are good. We’ve been discussing possible terms."
The diplomat noted that Moscow does not set any political terms in the arms trade, unlike some other capitals. "Russia’s terms are reasonable and they don’t have what’s called ‘political conditionality.’ When we buy something, you trust that we will use it well. With some countries, when we buy something they put limitations, conditionalities," the envoy added. An important step in the development of cooperation was the signing of the agreement on military-technical cooperation by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana on October 24, 2017. Under this agreement, Russia sent a batch of grenade launchers to the Filipinos.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang in November 2017 that Russia is ready to "develop relations [with the Philippines,] including in the military sphere and military-technical area." In an interview with TASS in early 2018, Russian Ambassador in Manila Igor Khovayev reported that other contracts may be signed after the contract on grenade launchers.