Russia looking for formal defense cooperation agreement with Philippines
Russia is looking into having a formal defense cooperation agreement with Philippines as it also aims to strengthen its partnership with its Filipino counterpart.
“We are interested in signing this agreement as soon as (possible) as far as Philippine side has similar interest so we hope to sign this agreement as soon as (possible),” Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said in a press conference onboard Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs in Pier 15 South Harbor.
“We are now taking best efforts on this way off course I call everyone to clearly understand that the defense cooperation is a very special… it requires at least two preconditions and both these preconditions are really indispensible,” Khovaev said.
“First we need to have a solid legal basis for our cooperation and off course we should have mutual trust and now the military of our two countries they are taking necessary efforts in order to build a solid legal basis and to build bilateral ties based on a mutual trust, .. It quite some time but I’m sure we are on the right way now so I believe very soon will manage to formalize our cooperation on this,” he added.
Khovaev said the visit of their ships in Philippine ports shows their intention of friendship with the Philippines.
“The message is very clear it’s the message of friendship and partnership, I can tell you frankly that myself as ambassador I hope very much... to become a regular,, so such port call should be made… should range to on a regular basis and I’m confident that it will be in full compliance with the long-term interest of our two countries of our two nations of the military of our two countries and it will contribute to the regional peace and stability that’s our message,” he said.
Khovaev said Russia is not seeking military alliance with the Philippines but only partnership and cooperation.
“We don’t seek military alliance with the PH, does not our aim and as far as I understand our Filipino partners don’t need military alliance with Russia either, what we are seeking is cooperation in those fields were our countries need each other,” he said.
Khovaev said cooperation includes sharing of technologies and experiences or skills.
“Possible military cooperation between our countries include transfer of Russian technologies but now it’s under consideration its under discussion between our two countries, but as I said it need a solid legal basis… but I am swearing you that our country is open to use any form any kind of military cooperation except of the (creation) of military alliance,” he said.
“We are ready to share are relevant experience with our Filipino partners, I have a strong belief that my country have a lot to offer to our Filipino partners in all fields,” he added.
Khovaev said in terms of military equipment, Russia needs a list from its Filipino counterpart. .
“For example, we are ready to supply small arms and light weapons, airplanes, helicopters submarines, and many many other weapons, sophisticated weapons, modern weapons not the second hand once,” he added.
“We want to be a reliable partner of the Philippines because we have appreciate mutual trust so it depends on the wishes of our Filipino partners and as far as I understand anyway the final say will belongs on the Philippines,” said Khovaev. Robina Asido/DMS