The independent foreign policy of President Duterte is bearing fruit.
Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad attended the the Russian Navy Day celebration in Saint Petersburg last July 29 where he met with his Russian counterpart Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Korolev.
The two discussed in behalf of their countries the draft memorandum of understanding for deepening security cooperation between the Philippines and Russia. The russians has expressed commitment to support the ongoing upgrade programs of the Philippine Navy (PN) in terms of training, maintenance, and sustainment of future acquisition especially its submarine acquisition program.
Russia is excited for the upcoming visit of a Philippine Navy ship in Vladivostok, Russia. It might be remembered that last June 3 Russian naval ships made a port call in Manila.
PN Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad represented the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the annual Russian Navy Day in Saint Petersburg.Empedrad was also accompanied by Philippine Fleet commander, Rear Admiral Danilo R. Rodelas and Philippine Defense Attaché to Russia, Col. Dennis Pastor.
“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,” Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata said.
The PN delegation was given the opportunity to visit the Admiralty Shipyard, the Russian navy’s premier naval shipyard where Russian submarines are built.
A few weeks ago, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana made a statement that the Philippine Navy is window shopping for a possible submarine acquisition for the much needed upgrade of the Philippine Navy.
With warm ties now being experienced between the Philippines and Russia, the latter has offered its diesel powered Kilo-class submarines which is primarily designed for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare in the protection of naval bases, sea lanes, and coastal installations.
Report from PNA