Putin Says Russia, Philippines Have Good Potential for Multifaceted Cooperation

Duterte visiting Moscow will be a "propaganda victory for Putin and a soft-power coup for Russian Federation", said Richard Javad Heydarian, a foreign policy analyst in Manila.

"They answered: 'Well, we are friends".

The visiting Philippine executive is expected to reiterate his administration's commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy that in the words of DFA Assistant Secretary Maria Cleofe Natividad "is anchored foremost on national interest considerations". "It's the only way", he said on a visit to China a year ago.

This was a follow-up to Moscow's commitment to President Rodrigo R. Duterte late November past year made in a bilateral meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting in Lima, Peru.

In his departure speech in Davao City Monday, the President said he was expecting that he would be able to correct the Philippines' "over dependence" on its traditional partners and mend ties with non-traditional partners like Russian Federation.

"Russia is a country that we must work with".

Western countries have taken issue with Duterte's track record on human rights since taking office - his police force has waged a bloody war on drugs over the past year, with extrajudicial killings of dealers and users numbering the thousands. "It would be useless except for fighting terrorism", he said, adding that the Philippines meant to ask China for more help to develop its economy. So the European Union granted $200 million, and this grants carried with it a condition that this money would be used to improve the human rights, and so on and so forth. "As for defense, if the situation all over the world becomes topsy-turvy with ISIS, I would be not really forced, but I would be open to a defense alliance", the Philippine president added.

China's President Xi Jinping wasn't trying to bully the Philippines at a recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Southeast Asian nation's top diplomat.

Duterte said in a speech late Friday at a coast guard event in southern Davao city that he raised the Philippines' arbitral victory against Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea and told Xi Manila intends to drill for oil there.

"Do you expect me to fight China in a war? I've never been to their country, and when they invited me to Trump's inauguration I declined, because I was planning to visit Russian Federation".

Kurlantzick suggested that while Duterte is likely to visit Washington he may not want to appear as though he is embracing the United States, given how much he has courted China and Russian Federation. "America is hypocritical. There is not the left hand know what your right hand does, so there will always be problems and misunderstanding if not hatred, dislike each other", said Philippine politician. I am just telling you.my interpretation: There was no bullying or pushing around.

China claims most of the sea, a key waterway for global shipping, and has reclaimed disputed reefs and installed military facilities on them. According to him, "it is only Russian Federation and China who can be relied (on)". I think they are more sophisticated, more precise. "Russia is better at this than the Americans, I chose to contact her".