A FILIPINO envoy to Moscow said Thursday Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin were determined to strengthen their countries’ diplomatic links and work together to combat the growing threat of transnational crimes, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking, among others.
Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta said: “Bilateral cooperation is indeed on the rise and that both President Duterte and Vladimir Putin are determined to strengthen Philippine-Russia relations even more,” Sorreta said.
During his meeting with Russia’s head of the Legal and Treaties Department of the Ministry of the Interior Lt. Gen. Alexander Avdeyko, both agreed to establish institutional linkages between the Department of the Interior and Local Government and other Philippine security agencies and the MoI to facilitate cooperation in combatting the growing threat of transnational crimes, especially drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking, among others.
“The Philippines recognizes the Russian Federation as an important partner in advancing its national security goals, including in its fight against transnational crimes and other public safety and public order issues,” Sorreta said.
Avdeyko, for his part, noted that Philippine-Russia relations were on the rise based on the high-level contacts at the head of state and ministerial levels, and the expanding tourism exchanges.
He gave assurances his office was prepared to become a full-fledged partner in the fight against crime through capacity building activities.
These activities possibly include training and retraining of Philippine personnel in the MoI’s institutes and academies as well as cultural and sports exchanges, among others.
Aside from that, the two officials agreed to speed up work on a draft legal framework in time for the visit Duterte to Moscow slated in the first half of 2017.
Both also acknowledged the importance of security cooperation as a pillar of Philippine-Russia relations.
Sorreta also said the Philippines and Russia were eyeing to expand both cooperation in energy including through an exchange of information, experts, and technology.
During his meeting with Roman Marshavin, director of International Cooperation of Russia’s Ministry of Energy, Sorreta suggested developing linkages between Russian energy companies and their Philippine counterparts to further expand Manila’s knowledge about Moscow’s energy production capabilities.
“Russia is a global leader when it comes to energy and has recently invested more time and focus in developing its technological edge in the area of alternative and sustainable sources of energy,” Sorreta said.
For his part, Marshavin agreed to communicate with Russian companies on this matter.
Sorreta said Marshavin also expressed interest in increasing current oil sales to the Philippines, given the country’s increasing energy needs.
Both sides agreed that increasing energy cooperation between the Philippines and Russia was timely since the Philippines was exploring renewable and alternative sources of energy to fuel its growing economy.
They also agreed that cooperation in the area of energy would be greatly enhanced through an agreed framework.