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DAVAO /Philippines/, May 22. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plans to discuss issues concerning trade balance, military cooperation and interaction in the security sphere during his upcoming visit to Russia.
"When I got elected, I had already plans of visiting Russia," the Philippine president said in an interview with Russian journalists ahead of his visit.
Duterte added that "one is to strengthen bilateral ties with Russia and exchanges of balance of trades is weighed in deficit." He also pointed out that Manila imported more than exported to Russia. "We hope to correct this imbalance by offering some so many things, mostly agricultural products," Duterte said. He also emphasized the importance of military cooperation saying that it included the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and cross-border crime.
The Philippines is inviting Russian companies to pour money into energy projects and is also interested in joint development of oil fields in the western province of Palawan, Duterte said.
"We are opened, including in energy and IT. So many endeavors, that you can participate in," Duterte said in an interview with Russian journalists.
Currently, oil is produced at fields located in the western part of Palawan, but the technology of production is not well developed. "And we are also trying to invite you to join us in this endeavor," he said.
Bilateral energy cooperation is important as Russia has rich experience in this field, the president stressed.
The Kremlin press service reported earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with Duterte on May 23. The two presidents will discuss the current state of bilateral relations and the prospects for political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. "The parties are expected to exchange views on pressing global and regional issues, focusing on the ways to ensure stability and security in the Asian-Pacific region," the Kremlin press service said.
A joint statement is expected to be adopted and a number of bilateral documents will be signed.