FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is back in Russia in an effort to strengthen further ties between Manila and Moscow, a year after the two nations signed 10 deals, including a defense cooperation.
Cayetano, during a two-day working visit, will hold bilateral talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and will speak before diplomats, academics and students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
“We are undertaking a working visit to Russia as part of our efforts to build on stronger and mutually beneficial ties with the Russian people,” Cayetano said. “The visit is in line with President Duterte’s commitment towards an independent foreign policy that is centered on the needs and aspirations of the Filipino.”
In a statement, Cayetano cited significant accomplishments between the Philippines and the Russian Federation that have translated into realistic cooperation in the politico-security, economic and scientific, and socio-cultural fields.
Cayetano cited the signing of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation and the Agreement on Military-technical Cooperation in 2017 between the Philippines and Russia that sought to expand exchanges in terms of military training, seminars and best practices between the two countries.
In October, the Philippines and Russia signed a military-technical cooperation agreement that would allow the conduct of joint research, production support, and the possibility of exchange of experts and training of personnel.
Ambassador to Moscow Carlos Sorreta said the Philippines established diplomatic ties with Russia, then known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, on June 2, 1976.
Since then relations have grown at an unprecedented pace with the signing of 23 agreements between the two countries, including 11 during the visit of Duterte in 2017.
Duterte visited Russia last year but had to cut the trip short after Islamic militants took over Marawi City, leaving Cayetano to represent him for the rest of the trip. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA