RUSSIAN officials have briefed the Philippine Embassy in Moscow on different aspects of possible Philippine-Russia military cooperation, including the acquisition of Russian military equipment and technology.
The briefing was spearheaded by the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), a federal agency directly under the Office of the President of the Russian Federation and is responsible for control and oversight of military-technical cooperation between the Russian Federation and foreign countries.
“We welcomed the briefing, which was quite revealing, particularly as to the extent that Russia is able to interact with a large number of countries in this field and the different mechanisms that are employed, including in terms of the acquisition and transfer of Russian military equipment,” Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta was quoted as saying in a statement from the Philippine Embassy.
“This is all part of our job to explore opportunities that could contribute to our government’s efforts to modernize our defense capabilities,” he added.
Aside from discussing military equipment and technology that were available from Russia, also taken up during the briefing were the issues of training, after-sales service and maintenance, transfer of technology, investment in domestic military production and servicing, and different modes of financing.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier disclosed that Russia, as well as China, have agreed to give the Philippines a 25-year soft loan to buy military equipment.
The military deal will allow Russia to finally have a foothold in the Philippines arms market.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, about 75 percent of Philippine weapons have come from America since the 1950s.
Duterte had hinted of his desire to end the Philippine reliance on US weaponry.
Russia sells military equipment and military-related equipment to a host of nations, from highly developed countries like the United States to developing nations like India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Pentagon announced earlier this year that the US will buy up to 18 more Russian-built RD-180 engines to power rockets carrying US military satellites into space over the next six years.