“THREE of us against the world,” President Rodrigo Duterte said as he bared that he wants to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next to forge closer relations with Moscow.
Duterte made the remark before Chinese government officials and business leaders who attended the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum.
“I realign myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin. There are three of us against the world. China, Philippines, Russia,” Duterte said.
The President said he wanted to open economic ties with China and Russia.
Duterte has also expressed an openness to hold war games with the two countries, after earlier declaring the end to joint military exercises with American soldiers.
Also yesterday, Russia said it is ready to give aid to the Philippines even as it supports Duterte’s war against drugs.
“Please formulate your wish list. What kind of assistance do you expect from Russia and we will be ready to sit down with you and discuss what can and should be done,” Ambassador Igor Khovaev said.
Khovaev said that they are aware of the “negative” image being portrayed of Russia.
“A true Russia is much, much different from what is being portrayed by Hollywood movies. [The Philippines and Russia] deserve to know each other much, much better. It’s time to discover,” he added.
He said Russia is open to cooperation with the Philippines. “It includes any area, any field of possible cooperation.”
Duterte, Khovaev said, impressed Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev when they met in Laos last month.
“[Medvedev] was deeply impressed by the personality of his Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte,” the envoy said.
Moreover, he said that Russia supports Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs and criminality.
Unlike some countries in the West and the international community, Russia respects the domestic affairs of the Philippines.
“We don’t interfere with the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. It is a fundamental principle of our foreign policy,” he said.
It was learned that Russia is preparing for President Duterte’s visit.