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Philippines eager to buy modern Russian weaponry — ambassador

The president of the Philippines paid an official visit to Moscow last year and held talks with Vladimir Putin in November

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Manila is interested in buying advanced Russian military hardware to modernize its armed forces, Russia’s Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovayev told TASS on Tuesday.

Today Manila is seeking to expand the sources of modern military hardware, the Russian diplomat said.

"Russia has something to offer and almost everything is of interest for the Philippine partners," he noted.

"Last year, the first contract was signed for the delivery of Russian-made grenade launchers to that country and other contracts are next in line," Khovayev said.

"Our country is ready to help the Philippines in modernizing the country’s armed forces," the Russian diplomat said.

Unprecedented dynamics

The Russian diplomat also drew attention to the new possibilities of mutually advantageous cooperation that had opened up after Rodrigo Duterte came to power in the Philippines.

"I will take the liberty to say that both sides have demonstrated that they were ready for such a turn in events," Khovayev said.

"They did not get caught off guard and took it on with full force," the Russian diplomat said.

‘The past year gave unprecedented dynamics to bilateral contacts, including at the highest and high levels," the ambassador said.

The president of the Philippines paid an official visit to Moscow last year and in November he held a talk with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Da Nang, the diplomat noted.

"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Philippine counterpart Peter Cayetano have held several meetings," the diplomat said.

"In February, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev visited the Philippines for the first time and in October Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu also paid a visit for the first time," he said.

As a practical result, the sides signed about forty "inter-state, inter-governmental and corporate documents," the Russian diplomat pointed out.

"We are on the threshold of domestic goods, technologies and services entering quite a capacious market of the Philippines whose economy has been demonstrating admirable growth rates," he said.

Harmonious economies

The Russian diplomat also noted the efforts, which Philippine entrepreneurs were taking to gain their foothold on the Russian market.

"Our economies can and must harmoniously supplement each other," he pointed out.

"Considering the comparatively low starting base, all this is akin to a true breakthrough," the Russian diplomat stressed.

"However, the potential that has been created is not a cause to rest on laurels," the diplomat said. "Much has yet to be done to implement the accords reached."

"So, regular contacts are most likely to continue, including on the sidelines of international forums," the Russian ambassador said.