Russia is a true friend » Manila Bulletin News



By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Despite having to cut his trip short, President Duterte said his official visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia has been very productive—especially with his short meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet for the first time during a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, Peru (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

This came after Duterte said that Putin agreed to every proposal raised during the bilateral talks and was very understanding as to why he had to cut his trip short.

“Shortly before going back to the Philippines, I met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow after official plans were changed to facilitate our meeting,” the President said shortly after his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (NAIA-T2) Wednesday afternoon.

“I expressed appreciation for the warm welcome, hospitality extended to me and my delegation [for] their flexibility and understanding to reschedule our meeting,” he said of his meeting with meeting with Putin that lasted for almost three hours.

Duterte was originally scheduled to meet Putin on May 25 (Russian time) but the Marawi incident which claimed the life of seven government troops forced him to shorten his stay.

Putin was not in Moscow when Duterte decided to fly home hastily but the Russian leader readily returned to Moscow to meet Duterte.

“Russia is a true friend. While I have to immediately return to the Philippines, I have instructed the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SFA) to remain,” he said, referring to Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano.

According to Duterte, Cayetano will meet with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss how to strengthen bilateral relations and to sign some agreements that have been already concluded.

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