Man in chemical protection suit holding a red flag during the chemical attack drill in Russia | REUTERS
The Russian military held a chemical attack drill on Sunday (September 16) as part of major military exercises Vostok-2018.
The Russian defense ministry published a video showing servicemen in chemical protection suits and gas masks cleaning tanks.
Russia’s biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) drills, which run until Sept. 17, take place in eastern Siberia close to the border with China and involve 300,000 Russian troops.
The exercises involve over a thousand military aircraft as well as up to 36,000 tanks, come amid tense relations between Russia and the West. — Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday (October 15) for talks that are expected to focus on economic ties and security in the Middle East region.
Upon arrival, Putin was greeted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the airport.
Putin’s trip to the region signals Moscow’s growing Middle East clout.
On Monday (October 14) he visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh’s regional rivals and energy cooperation. (Reuters)
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has advised taking extra precautionary measures in entering into nuclear power deals, in relation to the signed nuclear power agreement between the Philippines and Russia.
On Monday (October 7), Gatchalian expressed concern over the said deal since the Constitution does not have enough laws that promote nuclear power in the country.
“Kailangan ng maraming batas, for example nuclear safety. Kailangan din ng batas paano i-transport itong mga nuclear waste, saan itatago iyong nuclear waste. So, we have to be very cautious in moving forward, kulang pa tayo sa framework,” he said.
(We need a lot of laws, for example, on nuclear safety. A law is also needed in transporting nuclear waste and where will the nuclear waste be kept. So, we have to be very cautious in moving forward, we still lack framework.)
The senator also said there is a huge risk in investing in nuclear power plants especially during disasters.
However, Gatchalian said he is still open to studying the use of nuclear power plants in the country.
“Iyong technology for power nagiging mas mura, magiging mas advanced, so pwede natin pag-aralan. But for now ang importante mayroon tayong mga safeguards, batas, nag mag-reregulate nitong nuclear power,” he said.
(The technology for power will be cheaper and affordable. It will also be more advanced, so we should study it. But for now, what’s important is having safeguards, and laws that will regulate nuclear power.)
He also clarified that nuclear energy is allowed in the Constitution but not nuclear weapons.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is back in the Philippines after his five-day visit to Russia, bringing P620 million worth of business deals.
Duterte, who arrived in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, said his second visit to Russia generated “greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.”
“[This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said in a speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.
“The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that — towards that end,” he added.
The President said the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen its ties in all areas of cooperation, including security and defense as well as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and socio-cultural exchanges.
He said the Philippines and Russia also signed bilateral deals on the uses of scientific research, health, energy, culture and foreign policy consultations, which, according to Duterte, are important in securing the country’s strategic interests.
The Chief Executive also cited that Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.
“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” he said.
Duterte also signed a memorandum of intent with Russia on the exploration of possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.
However, he clarified that the deal is not yet final as it still requires consultations with the Cabinet. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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