Viernes, 21 Julio, 2017

Russian navy visits Philippines as Duterte tightens ties with US foes

Montez Delgado | 21 Abril, 2017, 00:16

TWO Russian Navy ships led by a guided-missile cruiser arrived in Manila on Thursday for a four-day goodwill visit.

Alexsei Ulyanenko, Varyag's commander, issued the brief statement shortly after docking his Slava-class warship at Manila's Pier 15 yesterday morning.

Lued Lincuna, Navy spokesman, said Philippine Navy vessel BRP Rajah Humabon (FF11) rendered customary meeting procedures at the vicinity of Corregidor Island and escorted the vessels to their designated berthing area.

Navy Capt. Leo Ramon Miado, fleet staff for maintenance and fix, said the port call of the Russian vessels will give Filipino sailors additional insights on the other modern navy of today, aside from the usual warships of allied countries, particularly those coming from the USA that have been alternately docking in the country.

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Navy representatives then accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony upon arrival followed by a port briefing related to security and health aboard one of the Russian ships.

Captain Leo Ramon Miado of the Philippine Navy said they look forward to training with their Russian counterparts.

"It's a training opportunity. We can view the advanced equipment of the Russian Navy in line with our modernization effort", he said. Duterte even toured the warship.

The visit of the Russian ships comes amid weakening ties between the Philippines and U.S. under Duterte, who has been angered by Washington's criticisms on his war on drugs.

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A shipboard tour was scheduled for Saturday, April 22, also at Pier 15.

Varyag, the flagship of the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet, was laid down in 1979 and commissioned in 1989.

The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russiancounterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.

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