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Russian ships dock as Duterte changes course

REUTERS
Published : Apr 21, 2017, 1:56 am IST
Updated : Apr 21, 2017, 1:56 am IST

The schedule includes activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Russian Navy missile cruiser Varyag prepares to berth at the port of Manila. (Photo: AFP)
 Russian Navy missile cruiser Varyag prepares to berth at the port of Manila. (Photo: AFP)

Manila: Russian Navy vessels reached Philippines on Thursday for joint exercises as part of a drive for new security ties under President Rodrigo Duterte’s revamped foreign policy of courting the traditional foes of Manila’s top ally, Washington.

The guided-missile cruiser Varyag, accompanied by the fuel tanker ship, Pechenge, are on a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines, the second port call by Russian warships in three months.

The move is part of what Mr Duterte describes as a pursuit of a constitutionally mandated “independent foreign policy”. He has made no secret of his grudge against the US and has made befriending Russia and China the priority of his drive.

Captain Lued Lincuna, director of the Philippines Navy’s public affairs, said the country hoped to learn from the Russians during training activities and a demonstration of advanced equipment and weapons systems.

The schedule includes activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a “significant contribution”  maintaining stability in the region.

Tags: russian navy, philippines, rodrigo duterte
Location: Philippines, National Capital Reg, Manila