By Roy Mabasa
Arrangements are being made for a possible working visit by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the Philippines in order to sign a defense industry cooperation agreement between Moscow and Manila.
“There are such plans,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin was quoted as saying Tuesday. “The issue is being worked out.”
Earlier this month, the Philippines and the Russian Federation agreed to fast track negotiations for pending bilateral agreements, particularly on military-technical cooperation, illegal narcotics, and law enforcement in the country.
The agreement was reached during the bilateral meeting of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the sidelines of the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by Manila.
So far, no agreements on military cooperation have been signed between the Philippines and Russia since the latter has traditionally acquired weapons from the United States.