Sees Russia as Potential 'Protector,' Arms Seller
With US-Philippines relations continuing to sour under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, Duterte has met with the Russian ambassador and suggested that Russia would become a great friend to his nation, saying the Russian Pacific Fleet is welcome to dock in the Philippines “for anything.”
Duterte said the ambassador told him Russia was ready to sell his nation sophisticated weapons, and expressed hope Russia’s navy would “protect” them regionally. Duterte has previously also courted arms sales from China as well, with an eye to supplant the US, which has long been their sole source of arms.
Duterte had expressed annoyance at the Obama Administration since taking power, accusing the US of potentially sucking the Philippines into a war with China, and complaining the US arms sales are based only on what the US wants to sell, not on what the Philippines actually wants to buy.
From the start Duterte said he would try to get better deals out of China and Russia if the US didn’t offer better terms, and he seems to have made good on this, saying he’s been assured by China they’ll give him anything he needs, and now setting up a visit to Moscow in April.
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