Russian Ambassador Khovaev to PHL: we’re ready to supply sophisticated weapons

Jan. 05, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Russia is offering its friendship and cooperation to the Philippines including any form of military cooperation.

In a press conference in Manila on Wednesday afternoon, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said Russia is open to a bilateral cooperation with the Philippines “in all possible fields” including political dialogue, coordination in solving global and regional problems, and trade and investment cooperation.

He also said  Russia is open to promoting close cooperation in the military and the defense area, describing the arrival of Russian Navy ships in Manila on Jan. 3 as a “message of friendship and partnership.”

“Of course our two countries have common threats towards our security,” he said, citing illegal drug trafficking, piracy and terrorism.

The Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs and sea tanker Boris Butomato are now in its five-day visit in the country.

Khovaev said Russia is “ready to discuss any arms and weapons.”

“What we need is a wish list from our Filipino partners,”  he said.

He said they may provide the Philippines with small arms, light weapons, airplanes, helicopters, and submarines.

“And many, many other weapons. Sophisticated weapons, not the second hand ones. We want to be a reliable partner of the Philippines,” he said.

But he said the issue on military cooperation is a “very serious matter” which needs to have a solid legal basis and mutual trust.

Aside from military and defense, Khovaev said Russia and the Philippines may also tie up in the field of transport, telecommunication, energy field including use of nuclear energy and others. He also said Russia is open to

No to military alliance

But the Russian ambassador clarified that they have no interest in creating any military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Principally we are against any close military alliances in the Asia Pacific region because the security must be equal for all the members of the international community… not only for the selected few. That’s a fundamental principle of our foreign policy,” he said.

He said they are interested in engaging interested partners in the world to deal with common security threats against terrorism, extremism, piracy and illegal drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, Khovaev believes that conducting joint exercises is necessary to struggle against global threats.

“No one is able to cope, to struggle effectively against terrorism, extremism, piracy, illegal drug trafficking on his or her own alone. So the international community needs to combine efforts in order to eradicate our planets from these threats,” he said adding that Russia is also open to “closely cooperate” with the Filipinos in this field.

PHL as big player

Khovaev also described the Philippines as a major player in the region that Russia needs to partner with.

He said Russia needs to develop its far eastern and Siberian regions and to do so it needs to find new partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

“You have more than 100 million people in population. It’s a big country so you play a significant role in affairs,” he said.

He also described Russia and the Philippines as neighbors in the region.

“Russia is not only a European state, it’s also a great Asian country. In this respect both the Philippines and Russia, we are two pacific neighbors,” he said.

Khovaev said he is confident that the bilateral relations will be in full compliance with the long term interests of the two countries and that it will contribute to regional peace and stability.

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his interest in forging stronger bilateral relations with Russia.

Russia is expecting a visit from President Rodrigo Duterte this year. Khovaev said there is no specific date yet but added the visit will take place after the winter season.(

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