Updated 10:23 AM PHT Wed, November 30, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said Tuesday that Russia was offering a "strategic partnership," and stressed that there would not be a military alliance between the two countries.
According to Khovaev, Russia does not believe in military alliances and has no plans of making allies in Asia. He explained that Moscow would assist Manila in acquiring Russian-made military weapons. The Russian official said that his country would not supply hand-me-down equipment, and these would come with no strings attached.
Khovaev appeals to Filipinos to get to know Russia, its people, and its culture — he also encourages his countrymen to do the same for the Philippines.
"I believe it's time for Filipinos to discover Russia and it's time for Russians to discover the Philippines. Because believe me, please, Russia is much, much different from the country as portrayed by Hollywood-style movies. Because in Hollywood movies, Russians, they are usually portrayed as aggressive, and I'm sorry for my language, stupid people. It has nothing to do with reality," the official said.
For Khovaev, a "new world order" is emerging — and economic integration, not military alliances, is the way forward.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay told CNN Philippines' "The Source" on Tuesday that details are being ironed out for President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Moscow in March or April 2017, following the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Defense cooperation is very important in terms of exchange of information, the fight against terrorism, even in the war on drugs, our enforcement capability," Yasay said.
Duterte met with Putin during his trip to Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. Both leaders agreed to foster stronger trade relations.
In a speech, Putin said Duterte was able to accomplish much in developing stronger ties between Russia and the Philippines.
He said, "It is my pleasure to have a chance to speak to you and your colleagues about developing our bilaterals."
CNN Philippines' JC Gotinga and Regine Cabato contributed to this report.