DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 May) – Russia has signified its interest to strengthen economic relations and other forms of partnership with the Philippines, its ambassador to the country said after meeting with presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday.
Russian Ambassador Igor A. Khovaev told reporters on Wednesday evening at the Marco Polo Hotel here that he and Duterte discussed ways to promote and develop bilateral relations between the two countries.
“It was a very productive meeting. I’m impressed by the personality of incoming President Duterte. It’s time for us to greatly promote our bilateral cooperation in different fields. It’s time for the Russians to discover the Philippines and it’s time for the Filipinos to discover Russia… It’s time to combine our efforts to work hard together,” he said.
The diplomat emphasized the need for the creation of a Joint Trade Economic Cooperation Commission to increase economic and trade cooperation between Russia and the Philippines.
He said that since Russia and the Philippines have suffered so much from terrorism, they can work together in fighting “terrorism and other threats and other challenges to security and sustainable development.”
He said they can share their respective experiences in putting an end to security threats.
“Terrorism is common threats to all of us. It’s not possible to eradicate to terrorism alone. All of us should combine our efforts, we discussed the subject in this way. We have a full mutual understanding on this respect,” he said.
“We are open to share our information, open for close partnership in this field,” he said.
Khovaev added they are interested in forging cooperation in other fields such as culture, technology, and even sports.
“We, the Russians are open to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation in any fields,” he said.
On the shipment of Philippine tropical fruits, Khovaev said that it’s another interesting field to explore since the Russian market needs fruits grown in the tropical region.
He mentioned fruits such as banana, mango, and durian.
Describing Russia’s relations with the Philippines as friendly, Khovaev boasted of their good standing in the international community having “no dispute or political contradictions” with other nations.
“Mr. President (Duterte) has the willingness to promote bilateral cooperation. He said that Russia and Philippines should be partners and friends. We fully support this approach, that’s a fundamental, extremely important message,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)