Putin accepts Duterte invite for 1st Philippine visit
Speaking at a forum in Quezon City yesterday, Khovaev said Putin has accepted with gratitude the invitation of President Duterte for him to visit the Philippines.
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Putin accepts Duterte invite for 1st Philippine visit
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Russian ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev is hopeful that President Vladimir Putin would visit the Philippines “as soon as possible.”

Speaking at a forum in Quezon City yesterday, Khovaev said Putin has accepted with gratitude the invitation of President Duterte for him to visit the Philippines. 

“This is very important. The invitation of President Duterte has been accepted by President Putin with gratitude,” he said. 

“At this moment, I can only express my hope that this visit will be made as soon as possible. When? I don’t know. But we’ll do our best to arrange this visit as soon as possible,” he added. 

Khovaev reiterated Russia’s commitment to help the Philippines in various fields, including strengthening its defense capabilities. 

“We have the most advanced technologies and we are ready to share that with our Philippine partners,” he said, referring to his earlier announcement that they are ready to establish a small weapons production hub in the Philippines. 

In a related story, Khovaev reiterated that Russian energy company Rosneft has nothing to do with the recent firing of an official of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).

“I would like to emphasize that... it’s a domestic affair of the Philippines, it’s not our business. It has nothing to do with the Russian side,” Khovaev said when asked about the recent firing of Pedro Aquino Jr., the head of the PNOC Exploration Corporation. 

Earlier this month, President Duterte fired Aquino for prematurely negotiating a deal with Rosneft without the authorization of the board of directors and concerned officials.

“But I’m happy to say that this decision has no impact on the cooperation between Rosneft and our Philippine partners,” Khovaev added.

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