MANILA (Reuters) – President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he hoped Moscow, a rival of the Philippines’ traditional ally the United States, would become his country’s ally and protector as he toured one of the two Russian warships on a four-day visit to Manila.
Duterte‘s remarks came a day after Russia’s ambassador said his country was ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons and aims to become its close friend.
“We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies, or maybe our ally to protect us,” said Duterte while shaking the hands of Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, head of the Flotilla of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet.
Duterte has thrown the future of Philippine-U.S. relations into question with angry outbursts against the United States, a former colonial power, and some scaling back of military ties while taking steps to improve relationships with China and Russia.
Mikhailov said on Tuesday Russia wanted to hold maritime exercises with the Philippines to help combat terrorism and piracy.
Full article: Duterte Hopes Russia Will Become Philippines’ Ally and Protector (Washington Free Beacon)