File Photo: (L-R) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin in a telesummit on Tuesday to reaffirm bilateral ties of the two nations and discuss ways to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte had an “open and productive” telesummit with Putin that lasted for 30 minutes.
“President Duterte and President Putin reaffirmed their shared commitment to further enhance cooperation as the Philippines and Russia commemorate the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations this year and vowed to cooperate in the fight against COVID-19,” Roque said.
Duterte also thanked Putin for Russia’s commitment to bolster cooperation in various areas, including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
The Palace said both leaders discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russian-made Sputnik V “must be mobilized to as many countries as possible.”
Vaccine czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the country is expecting the arrival of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses this month. The Philippine government ordered a total 20 million Sputnik V doses.
Roque said the two chief executives stressed the importance of ramping global production and supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.
Both leaders also noted the steady progress in defense and security cooperation between the two countries, fostered by regular exchanges between defense, intelligence and military agencies.
Roque said both leaders vowed to sustain the momentum gained between the Philippines and Russia over the past five years.
“President Putin highlighted the positive trajectory of Russia-Philippines relations and emphasized the many opportunities for greater cooperation in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture and energy development even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation,” he said.
Roque said that during the telesummit, Duterte also reiterated his invitation for Putin to visit the Philippines as soon as circumstances allow, which the Russian president welcomed.