PH, Russia ink 9 deals in ‘new era of partnership’

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The Philippines signed nine deals with Russia involving extradition, transportation and nuclear energy, among others, during President Rodrigo Duterte’s bilateral meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Monday night.

The nine agreements were: Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters; Treaty on Extradition; a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Department of Energy and the State Atomic Energy Corp. of the Russian Federation; Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Mass Communication; Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of Cooperation in Transport Education; Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation; Memorandum of Understanding between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of the Russian Federation; Agreement on Cooperation between the Commission on Audit of the Republic of the Philippines and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation and Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between Philippine company Vi Holding LLC and Russian company Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc.
Medvedev noted that the relations between Manila and Moscow have reached new heights under the Duterte administration.

“Indeed, to host such event is a difficult work and I know that today you’ve had lots of meetings, meetings with heads of states and delegations. Definitely, it’s difficult to find time. But the fact that we’re meeting with you quite late at night points to a new level of our partnership or relations,” Medvedev said through an interpreter.

The bilateral meeting between Manila and Moscow began at 10:46 pm and ended at 11:30 pm. Members of the Russian delegation were the first to arrive at the Coconut Palace for the meeting.

President Duterte followed, accompanied by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, among others.
Medvedev came in last.

Duterte’s one-on-one meeting with Medvedev was initially scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m., but Duterte had a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump that extended beyond an hour.

As a result, the rest of Duterte’s bilateral meetings with Japan, India, South Korea and Russia were moved to 8 p.m. onward.

“Definitely, we are ready to expand our political, economic, cultural ties, as well as our cooperation in fighting terrorism through arms supply. We’ll be of assistance in the fight against terrorism and bringing or restoring law and order. This is a new chapter in our relationship, and no doubt we will keep standing by your side,” Medvedev added.

Duterte thanked Medvedev for Russia’s willingness to assist the Philippines.

“We have improved our friendship, and we plan to expand trade ties with your country. We are happy that we can find a new market in the Eurasian front,” Duterte said.

“We would only want a small opening so we can do business with the other countries,” Duterte added.

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