Philippine military tie-up with Russia starts
By Cynthia D. Balana
10 January 2017

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines’ Defence chief said the proposed agreement with Russia covers the exchange of military personnel, visits, observation and participation of the Russian military in exercises.

Russia signaled its defence cooperation with the Philippines with the purchase of weapons and the participation in joint exercises aimed at enhancing the two countries’ armed forces.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in an interview on Monday that the stalled memorandum of agreement with Russia, which was drafted in 2014 during the time of then President Benigno Aquino III, would be revived.

“We are going to finish this. The draft was almost finished and it will be one of the documents that will be signed if ever we finish all the nitty-gritty during the visit of the President in Russia sometime in April or May,” Lorenzana said.

He said the proposed agreement covers the exchange of military personnel, visits, observation and participation of the Russian military in exercises.

“The Russians said that they would like to have exercises with us, especially maritime, but we will still determine the specifics and what is acceptable because this will still pass through the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Lorenzana said.

The defence chief said he expects the memorandum to be signed in April or May so that exchanges of military personnel as students could begin.

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