ALTHOUGH Russia is not actively seeking a military alliance with the Philippines, the Russian Navy is willing to train Filipinos in the use of various combat systems if an agreement is reached on military exercises.
“We don’t seek military alliance with the Philippines. As I understand, our Filipino partners don’t need a military alliance with Russia either. What we are seeking is a cooperation in those fields where our two countries need each other,” said Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev.
“We are against any close military alliances in the Asia Pacific region because the security must be transferred, must be equal for all members of the international community and not only for the selected few,” he added.
But while Russia has no intentions of building a military alliance with the Philippines at this point, Moscow is interested in holding activities with Manila that are mutually beneficial, Khovaev said.
‘‘We have an objective need to develop very actively our Far Eastern and Siberian regions. It’s not possible to fulfill these tasks without a full-fledged integration of Russia into Pacific multilateral cooperation mechanisms,” he said.
At the same time, Russian Pacific Fleet flotilla deputy commander Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov said the Russian Navy is more than willing to train Filipinos in Russian combat equipment if an agreement is reached on joint military exercises.
“Maybe in the future, we’ll have exercises with your [and we’ll teach you] maneuvering and use of combat systems,” he added.
Mikhailov said Russia, the Philippines, China and Malaysia can participate in one big naval exercise in the South China Sea.
He added that this is possible as all the above-mentioned countries are concerned with the safety and security of the region.
Mikhailov made this statement during the sidelights of Tuesday’s official welcoming ceremonies for Udaloy-class destroyer/large anti-submarine ship, Admiral Tributs and the Boris Chilikin-class fleet oiler, Boris Butoma, which arrived Monday night at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila.
The former is the head of the Russian naval delegation which is on a six-day goodwill visit to the country which will end on Saturday.