Russia moves closer to be PH next military partner after VFA termination with US

Russia moves closer to be PH next military partner after VFA termination with US

Undeniably the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement has created a big void in the security and defense of the Philippines as a nation.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is very much influenced by the Western Military doctrines or to put it simply too much “US-centric” that the VFA and all that comes with it is a big challenge for us to fill in.

And as per the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Russia realizes it and is now going to make its presence felt in our country.

 Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Philippines, Igor Khovaev, meets with Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. on Monday at Camp Aguinaldo.(photo credit to AFP PAO)

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev on Monday (Feb. 17) paid a courtesy call to recently-appointed Armed Forces Chief of Staff Felimon Santos Jr.

According to the Russian Embassy Facebook post, the Ambassador’s visit is just a discussion between Khovaev and Santos “focused on the development of military and military-technical cooperation” between the Philippines and Russia.

The visit happened just as the AFP is counting down the days until the effectivity of the termination of the VFA is final.

In a separate press release, the AFP said the Russian Ambassador’s visit is “an introductory courtesy call” requested by Khovaev himself.

But according to South China Morning Post report last week  - Manila and Moscow were “somewhere in the final stages” of drafting a joint military technical cooperation agreement.

This despite some pronouncements coming from Malacanang that the country should learn to “learn to stand on our own” and not to rely on other countries.

Critics and detractors alike have called the termination of the VFA as President Duterte’s way of making a big pivot towards Russia and China as he has been saying since 2016, and was aggravated by the cancellation of the US visa of senator Ronald Dela Rosa over his alleged involvement in the so called “illegal detention” of opposition senator Leila De Lima.

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Report from  PDI

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