Russia wants to continue ‘highest level’ of engagement with PHL

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday night confirmed that Moscow is keen to expand the high-level engagement between the two countries with President Vladimir Putin’s future visit to Manila.

Lavrov on Tuesday had a bilateral meeting with Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who was in Moscow for a two-day official visit.

“My colleague and my friend has conveyed President Duterte’s message to President Putin, which contains the invitation extended to our president in May of last year,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mansion in Moscow when asked if the Russian leader will visit the Philippines in the future.

“We have confirmed that we want to continue our context (of meetings) on the highest level,” he said.

Lavrov bared that the two parties have now decided to “accelerate” preparation of the necessary documents needed for a possible trip, to which, he said are now being considered by relevant Russian agencies.

“We, as the heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will provide the coordination of this work and we have reasons to believe it will be accelerated,” Lavrov said.

Duterte, who visited Moscow in May 2017, had to cut short his trip after Islamic militants took over Marawi City. Cayetano stayed behind to represent him for the rest of the trip. PNA