Russia, Philippines seek defense cooperation deal

Russia and the Philippines are aiming for an official defense cooperation agreement as President Rodrigo Duterte tries to reduce dependence on the US, a traditional ally of Manila.

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said on Wednesday that necessary efforts are being made to reach an agreement, paving the way for joint military exercises and weapons technology transfer. He added that Moscow wants to sign the agreement as soon as possible, but this process will take time as defense cooperation is a particularly sensitive issue, and requires mutual trust and firm legal ground. Ambassador Khovaev said the agreement will neither turn Russia and the Philippines into military allies nor affect the agreement on visiting forces that the Philippines has with the US and Australia.

Source: VOV5