In the latest confirmation that President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to diversify the country's military ties away from the United States and toward China and Russia was not hollow, AP reports that three Russian navy ships arrived in the Philippines on Friday and two others are coming, to deliver donated military equipment in the country's third naval visit under Duterte, who as discussed previously, has launched a historic pivot in the country's geopolitical posture away from the US and toward regional Superpowers.
Three Russian antisubmarine ships docked in Manila on October 20 in time for Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's upcoming visit to the country, said Rear Admiral E. Mikhailov, the task force commander.
Russian Navy crew member cleans the guns of the Admiral Vinogradov,
a Russian anti-submarine ship, in Manila, Philippines, on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017
Two other vessels arrived on October 21 at the port of Subic Bay, northwest of Manila to unload donated military equipment, the Philippine Navy said in a statement.
Next week, Shoigu will be attending a meeting of 10 Southeast Asian defense ministers with counterparts from other countries, including the United States and China.
"I am assuring you that we will do our best to make this port call a significant contribution to the strengthening of friendly ties and cooperation between our two nations in the interest of security and stability in the region," Mikhailov said.
Russian news agency TASS reported that the Russian Navy will allow local residents of Manila to take tours of the large antisubmarine vessel Admiral Panteleyev during its stay in Manila.