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Meeting with President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

October 3, 2019, Sochi

Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte met on the sidelines of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends,

Allow me to welcome you in Russia.

First of all, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for accepting our invitation to take part in discussions on the developments in Asia and the creation of a new security architecture in that crucial part of the world. The presence of the Philippine President at the Valdai International Discussion Club is very important to us, especially considering its theme. I am confident that your presence here will add significance and attract attention to this event.

On the bilateral level, I would like to point out that the Philippines is an important partner for Russia in Asia. Our bilateral cooperation is constructive and mutually beneficial. Truly friendly relations have developed between our countries.

I recall how you had to fly back home during your previous visit to Russia in May 2017 because of the terrorist attacks staged by ISIS. I know that over the past two years you have managed to bring down the terrorist threat to a very low level and to greatly strengthen the capability of your security agencies. Mr President, we are ready to continue to develop our partnership and to share our experience and achievements in the field of counterterrorism.

I would like to point out your contribution to the strengthening of multifaceted cooperation between Russia and the Philippines. It was largely thanks to your personal contribution that our political dialogue has been revitalised and we have reported considerable achievements in our trade and economic cooperation. Our trade has doubled, or more precisely, it increased by 102 percent to over $1.2 billion in 2018. Russian exports to your country have increased fourfold.

However, we can do much more. Russian companies are willing to increase the export of energy, aircraft, motor transport and special vehicles to the Philippines. We are interested in promoting industrial cooperation and joint projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, space exploration and digital technology.

We should provide assistance to the development of direct ties between our business people. This goal is facilitated by the Business Council, which was established in 2009. I know that you will attend a regular meeting of the council tomorrow in Moscow. We welcome your visit to Russia. We are confident that it will serve to boost the development of bilateral relations.

Thank you.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte(transcript of the speech in English): I am pleased to meet you again, Your Excellency. Thank you for the invitation to the Valdai forum and for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

Since my visit in May 2017, which, unfortunately, was cut short due to the security emergency in Marawi, I have always looked forward to returning to Russia. I am here today to reaffirm our strong commitment to build a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation.

In the past two years we have seen a dramatic increase in bilateral activities across many areas of cooperation at various levels of government. We have also made historic firsts in the key strategic areas, from economic defence, security and military technical cooperation.

In 2018, BRP Tarlac made a port-call at Vladivostok, first-ever of the Philippine navy. This was an issue of high political importance, given that a few years back this would have been unthinkable.

We have established a high-level consultative mechanism between our foreign ministries, national security councils and economic agencies. Since 2017, our national security councils have met regularly to take stock of our engagement in defence, security and law enforcement matters and to exchange views on various issues affecting our countries.

It is imperative to sustain these consultative dialogues and enhance our mechanism to further strengthen the foundation of our growing relationships. I am therefore happy to have this opportunity to continue our dialogue with the view of identifying vital areas of cooperation, which is where we should concentrate our efforts in coming years.

Since the signing of our agreement on defence cooperation in 2017, we have exchanges of high-level visits between our defence and security officials, as well as port-calls of our two navies.

October 3, 2019, Sochi