By Francis Wakefield
The Chief of the Russian Navy has assured that his government will support the upgrade program of the Philippine Navy (PN) in terms of training, maintenance, and sustainment of future acquisition particularly its submarine acquisition project.
Russian Navy Chief Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Korolev made the assurance following the visit of Philippine Navy Chief Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad in St. Petersburg, Russia as he represented the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the Russian Navy Day celebration on July 29, 2018.
During their meeting, Korolev also informed Empedrad about the conduct of joint HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) training and regular visits of ships.
The Philippine Navy said it was also during this historic meeting that a draft MOU for deepening security cooperation between the two navies was also discussed.
It was during this meeting that the chief of Russian Navy expressed his appreciation for the upcoming visit of a Philippine Navy ship in Vladivostok, Russia.
It was recalled that three warships from Russia made a port visit in Manila in June 2018.
The PN delegation was also given the opportunity to visit Admiralty Shipyard, the navy’s premier naval shipyard where Russian submarines are built.
The main naval parade at St. Petersburg is a commemoration of over three centuries of Russia’s rich history. This is the day when the Russian federation honors members of the Russian Navy and showcase its strength and capabilities. It is celebrated annually, on the last Sunday of July.
To mark this year’s Navy Day parade, the Russian President and Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Putin attended the activity.
The commander of the China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy, Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong was also among the Navy chiefs who attended and was met by Empedrad during the event.
The 14 chiefs and representatives of the invited navies were also tendered with a formal dinner by the chief of Russian Navy as the final event for the visiting delegations.
All heads of delegations agreed that the only way to achieve peace at sea is through cooperation among navies of the world.
Empedrad was accompanied by the commander of the Philippine Fleet, Rear Admiral Danilo R. Rodelas and two other PN officers and Philippine defense attaché to Russia, Army Col. Dennis Pastor PA.
The official visit underscores the navy’s diplomacy efforts for increased interaction among other navies.
“These engagements are building blocks for closer cooperation in areas of mutual concern such as combating terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes, the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” the Philippine Navy said.