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Meeting with President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

November 10, 2017, Danang

Vladimir Putin and President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte met on the sidelines of the two-day APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which opened today in Danang, Vietnam.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very pleased to meet with you again.

I remember that you had to cut short your trip to Russia due to a terrorists’ attack on your country. I remember that you told me before the departure that you had to restore order and fight back the terrorists. I want to congratulate you on having achieved that. I have to say, countering terrorism today is one of our common tasks, objectives and challenges. In this regard, we are ready, as we have agreed, to develop our relations, including the military and technical cooperation.

Of course, we need to lay a special emphasis on economic ties. Unfortunately, they are at a fairly low level even though a certain growth in bilateral trade can be observed this year.

I am very glad to meet with you again, Mr President.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte (transcript):

Thank you, Mr President, President Putin, sir. I am very happy to see you again, this time with double enthusiasm and gratitude of my country of the Philippines. I really wanted to stay longer at that time, but as I explained to you it was very important for me to go home because I had to declare martial law. And it was really an ISIS-inspired raid on the city and they wanted to take control. So I had to declare martial law and send my troops there to quell the rebellion. And I was able to prove to everybody that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the national police would take care of our country. And there are still pockets of resistance and the mopping up operation but it continues to be a very dangerous city. And I would like to convey to you the gratitude of the Filipino people for your timely assistance, especially the trucks and arms that you sent because we had to replenish the supplies which were getting low. According to my soldiers the arms that you sent are very accurate and they were able to take care of the snipers that abounded in the city. I lost almost all of my troops because of the snipers, which were covered in buildings just like in Syria. There’s a new kind of war and the cover is cement, concrete and iron. So we had to hurt them just like in the other places in the Middle East because we had to wipe it out, building for building.

And that is my dream that before I finish my presidency I want to build a strong Armed Forces and strong police. It is very important for you to know that we are buying our arms from Russia this time. Because at the time we were short of arms for the police. And we wanted to buy it from America, but because of the almost equal power of the US Congress and the President it is only stymied by the legislators, so the 23,000 that I ordered were scrapped. And your timely assistance to my country helped us to replenish the old arms. And we have the new stock, so the new arms that we got from you, sir, were given to the special units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In a way, you had us turn the tide and to shorten the war there because all of your assistances.

So again I thank you very much, the Russian people and the President. We will remember your help.

Vladimir Putin: Weapons are very important, but what is most important is your resolve and the readiness of the Armed Forces, security agencies and the police to counteract the terrorist threat. So I congratulate you.

November 10, 2017, Danang