President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines next year “as soon as circumstances allow”.
Duterte extended the invitation through new Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Ignatyevich Pavlov who was in Malacañan Palace to present his credentials to the President.
“Next year marks the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. I take this opportunity to reiterate my invitation to President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines as soon as our circumstances will allow. It will be an opportunity to celebrate and reaffirm the enduring friendship and cooperation between our countries,” he said in his speech.
In October 2019, then Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said Putin had already accepted Duterte’s invitation.
If Putin pushes through with the visit, it will be his first visit to Manila. Duterte has visited Russia twice— in 2017 and 2019.
Duterte also thanked Russia for their offer to provide the Philippines with doses of their potential vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We thank Russia for its offer to supply Sputnik V and share this technology on vaccine production with the Philippines,” he said.
Russia earlier said that its Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute and the Russian defense ministry, is 92 percent effective at protecting people from Covid-19 based on interim trial results.
In the same speech, Duterte said he considers Russia a “good friend and partner”.
“Over the past few years, we have strengthened cooperation in defense and security, health, science technology, and the economy of our countries. We aim for an ever more robust and deeper cooperation in the coming years,” he said.
Duterte also accepted the credentials of six other Ambassadors namely Shambhu Santha Kumaran (India), Claudio Alberto Rojas Rachel (Chile), Titanilla Tóth (Hungary), Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi (Pakistan), Juha Markus Pyykkö (Finland), and Ahmed Shehabeldin Ibrahim Abdullah (Egypt).
He expressed commitment to further enhance Philippines-India cooperation in defense, security, trade and investment, and in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic and looked forward to honoring the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit India.
Duterte also thanked Chile for the hospitality extended to Filipinos in Chile and the assistance in the repatriation of stranded Filipino seafarers during this pandemic and vowed to enhance Philippine-Chilean cooperation in trade and investments, disaster risk management, agriculture, geothermal energy, tourism, and culture
He extended gratitude to Hungary for supporting the Philippines in the multi-lateral fora in line their government’s policy of non-intervention in domestic affairs of other countries and expressed appreciation for Hungary’s scholarship for the Filipino students pursuing advance degrees.
Recalling his visit aboard the Pakistan Navy Ship “Saif” in 2017, Duterte vowed to pursue Philippine-Pakistan military to military exchanges, sharing of intelligence and best practices, particularly encountering terrorism and violence.
He welcomed Finland’s decision to reopen its embassy in Manila this year and looked forward to enhancing bilateral cooperation in various areas of mutual interest particularly in information and communication technologies, renewable energy, and clean technology.
The President expressed hope that the Philippines and Egypt would build on their warm and fruitful ties for the past seven decades in strengthening cooperation in trade, agriculture, cultural exchanges, as well as in security and combatting terrorism and violent extremism. He also thanked Egypt for the “kind treatment” accorded to over 5,000 Filipinos living and working there. PNA.GOV.PH