Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2019

3 Russian warships dock in Manila amid Balikatan

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The Philippines welcomes the Russian Navy’s 2nd goodwill visit in 2019 amid its ongoing Balikatan joint military exercises with the United States

Published 9:27 AM, April 08, 2019

Updated 9:34 AM, April 08, 2019

PORT CALL. Russian ships dock in Manila, kicking off a 5-day goodwill visit to the Philippines. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

PORT CALL. Russian ships dock in Manila, kicking off a 5-day goodwill visit to the Philippines. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Amid ongoing joint military exercises with its old ally the United States, the Philippines welcomed forces of one of its powerful non-traditional ally Russia.

On Monday, April 8, 3 Russian warships docked at the historic Port of Manila, kicking off a 5-day goodwill visit by the Russian Pacific Fleet.

The contingent comprised of large anti-submarine Admiral Tributs and Vinogradov and large sea tanker Irkut. The head of the mission, Russian Navy Captain Sergey Alantiev will pay a courtesy call to Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.

This is the 2nd goodwill visit by the Russian Navy in 2019, after its January port call where Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte climbed aboard Admiral Tributs.

The welcome for the Russian Navy comes as the Philippine Armed Forces holds its annual Balikatan joint military exercises with the United States, which commenced on April 1, and will conclude on April 12.

A contrast of allies
The visit emphasizes the Philippines’ continued pursuit of an independent foreign policy under Duterte, which also includes a pivot to Asian superpower China.

Under the strongman’s term, the country has signed military deals with Russia and has also enjoyed donations of military equipment.

Philippine Navy commanders, meanwhile, embarked on a historic visit to the Russian port city of Vladivostok in 2018.

In May 2017 The two countries signed a total of 10 deals, including a defense agreement which entailed more exchanges between their militaries, a deal to share intelligence, and an agreement to share knowledge on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. – Rappler.com

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