Mr Duterte has thrown the future of Philippines-US relations into question with outbursts against the US.
Manila: President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he hoped Moscow, a rival of the Philippines’ traditional ally the United States, would become his country’s ally and protector as he toured one of the two Russian warships on a four-day visit to Manila.
Mr Duterte’s remarks came a day after Russia’s ambassador said his country was ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons and aimed to become its close friend.
“We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies or maybe our ally to protect us,” said Mr Duterte, shaking the hands of Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, head of the Flotilla of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet.
Mr Duterte has thrown the future of Philippines-US relations into question with outbursts against the US and some scaling back of military ties, while taking steps to improve relations with China and Russia.
He is due to go to Moscow in April. The visit by the Russian warships was the first official navy-to-navy contact between the two countries.
Last month, Duterte sent his foreign and defense ministers to Moscow to discuss arms deals.