Lately we’ve been hearing reports that the Philippines intends to sign defence cooperation agreements, enhance economic relations, and even send workers to the Russian Federation, all of these as a result of a long-term effort to diversify our foreign relations and reduce dependency on the United States.
You may remember that our relations with the US has significantly deteriorated during the past few months over concerns of possible human rights violations in the ongoing drug war and President Duterte’s rants against the US. At the same time, he has voiced intentions to pivot to Russia and China.
During the sidelines of the APEC Summit he met with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in which he congratulated Duterte on his election victory (which incidentally is the date of Victory Day celebrations), and invited him to visit Russia early next year.
At the same time Russian companies expressed interest in investing in this country, as well as the Philippines aiming to increase exports.
After the US canceled the sale of 26,000 assault rifles, Russian manufacturers oriented PH embassy staff on what they have to offer.
Recently, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Moscow to discuss the possibility of a defense cooperation agreement, and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Additionally, the Philippines explored possibilities of sending OFWs in Russia.
In such a short period we’ve seen major developments and this is going to be an exciting time, and reap the benefits of this new window of opportunities.