RUSSIAN Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev expressed optimism on Tuesday, March 20, that the re-election of Russian President Vladimir Putin will boost diplomatic relations between Russia and the Philippines.
“I have a strong belief that the result, the re-election of President Putin will have a very positive impact on the development of the solid partnership and friendship between our two nations. This policy and this course in my view is a full compliance in strategic interest of both Russians and Filipinos,” he said in a press conference.
“The impact will be very positive, that is beyond doubt. President Putin deeply respects His Excellency President (Rodrigo) Duterte and this respect is mutual. Our two leaders respect each other, they have very good chemistry and their personal relationship is in full compliance to the strategic and objective requirement of our two nations,” he added.
Khovaev said bilateral cooperation is expected to improve in the areas of trade and investment, culture, education, science and technology and, mostly, in security and defense.
He said Russians are very much inclined to cooperate in transportation, mining, telecommunication, outer space, tourism, technology and energy sectors,
Asked to comment about the planned shutdown of Boracay Island in Aklan, Khovaev said he is not in the position to make a comment considering that it is a domestic issue. He said, however, that he finds the island very much congested and there are other tourist destinations in the country which are more beautiful.
He also said that aside from the Philippines, the Russian government is also looking forward to building strong and reliable relationship with other Asean countries.
“I am also optimistic in this aspect and our strategic interest is not only to build a strong partnership with the Philippines but we are also interested to build a strong and reliable partnership with Asean as a whole,” he said.
During the Russian elections held on March 18, Putin won with a vote of 76.66 percent of the total number of voters.
This is Putin’s fourth six-year term, which makes him the longest-serving ruler of Russia. (SunStar Philippines)