PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to fly to Russia by the first week of October, Malacañang announced on Wednesday, September 18.
This would be Duterte’s second visit to Moscow upon the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Ang sabi niya ay inimbitahan siya ni Russian President at tinanggap na niya. Ia-announce niya na lang kung ano ang mangyayari doon (He said he had accepted the invitation of the Russian President to visit Moscow. He will announce what will happen there),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a chance interview.
“Hindi ko pa alam ang exact dates, most likely first week of October (I don’t know the exact dates of his visit to Russia but most likely, it would be by the first week of October),” he added.
Duterte first visited Russia in May 2017, but he had to cut short his trip because fighting erupted in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur between the government forces and Islamic State-inspired Maute group.
Duterte has repeatedly been saying in his impromptu speeches that he wants a strong alliance with Russia, which he considers as the Philippines’ “friend.”
In his first months in office, the President said he had similarities with Putin.
Panelo said Duterte’s impending visit to Russia would further bolster ties between Manila and Moscow.
“When you visit a country other than yours, it means you are trying to improve the relations, ‘di ba (don’t you)? Iyon (That’s it). It could mean further improved relations between the two countries,” the Palace official said. (SunStar Philippines)