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PH-Russia defense cooperation will be in the form of training: Esperon

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By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Friday (April 21) said that the defense cooperation between the Philippines and Russia would be in the form of training.

Esperon, in an interview after the President’s visit to the Russian guarded missile cruiser Varyag, said details about the said cooperation will be finalized during President Duterte’s visit to Moscow next month.

President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

“Defense cooperation would come in the form of training. Probably some exchange of information,” he said.

Varyag is in the Philippines as part of its tour to several countries. Varyag will be in the country until Tuesday and will be heading to Vietnam and then to Thailand.

According to Esperon, Duterte visited the said ship, which is docked in Port Area, Manila, as a sign of good will after the President received an invitation.

“The visit of the president is also a show of good will no more, no less. It’s also our time to extend an invitation for them to come again. Which he did,” he said.

Esperon also said that Duterte’s visit to the Russian warship does not mean that the Philippines will be buying or acquiring ships from Russia. He, however said that Duterte was impressed with the 612-feet Slava-class cruiser of the Russian Navy.

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