Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts

Russia Warship in the Philippines for Joint Exercise; Draft for Defense Agreement for Duterte Visit may 25

Dream Meaning OF WEARING BLUE OR PURPLE
Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia First Joint Exercise

Russian Warship arrived in the Philippines on Thursday for joint exercises as part of a drive for new security ties under President Rodrigo Duterte's revamped foreign policy of courting the traditional foes of Manila's top ally, Washington.

The guided-missile cruiser Varyag, accompanied by the fuel tanker ship, Pechenge, are on a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines, the second port call by Russian warships in three months.

The move is part of what Duterte describes as a pursuit of a constitutionally mandated "independent foreign policy". He has made no secret of his grudge against the United States and has made befriending Russia and China the priority of his diversification drive.

Captain Lued Lincuna, director of the Philippine navy's public affairs, said the Philippines hoped to learn from the Russians during training activities and a demonstration of advanced equipment and weapons systems.

The schedule includes training and sports activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Video: Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia Defense Agreement

Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a "significant contribution" to strengthening relations and maintaining stability in the region.

Moscow wants to help Manila combat extremism and piracy, stepping up cooperation and training in areas where the Philippines has traditionally worked closely with its former colonial master the United States.

The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.

When Duterte met Putin for the first time last year, the Philippine leader spoke at length about what he called U.S. "hypocrisy".

Duterte has instructed his defense minister to look into how the Philippines could acquire modern military equipment from Russia, like drones, night-vision gear, sniper rifles, and even helicopters.

Duterte to visit Russia on May 25

President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting Russia on May 25.

During his speech at the induction of newly elected officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Duterte said Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command chief Army Major General Oscar Lactao will be joining him.

"So I'm going there with Lactao, May 25," Duterte said. "[Sabi ko sa kanya,] Maganda rin ang mga Russian. Iyon lang man ang puntahan mo. Usap kami ni Putin."

[Translation: I told Lactao, "Russians are also beautiful. At least go with me for that." Putin and I will talk.]

He also reiterated Russia's commitment to helping the Philippines.

"Sabi pa ng Russia [said], "We will have everything you need, just come here,"" he added.

Improved Philippine-Russian relations

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told CNN Philippines' "The Source" in January that Duterte's visit to Russia is a "milestone" in the ties between the two nations.

"Both the Russian and Philippine side, we need to prepare substantial and solid package of bilateral agreements on cooperation in different fields, and we are now taking necessary efforts," Khovaev said.

He also said Russian companies are willing to explore Philippine markets. He urged Philippine companies to reciprocate and explore the Russian market as well.

"We are ready to cooperate in industries of transport, energy… including the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, telecommunications, agriculture, and many other fields. Both sides have a lot to offer," Khovaev said.

Economic, military agreements in the works

Economic ties between Manila and Moscow are at their infancy.

Russia has not had any foreign direct investment in the Philippines since 1999, central bank data showed.

Russia accounted for $43 million (around ₱2.17 billion) in overseas remittances last year, but it was only 0.2 percent of the total $26.9 billion (around ₱1.35 trillion) sent home by Filipinos from all over the world.

In addition, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Russia committed to importing up to $2.5 billion (around ₱126 billion) worth of Philippine fruits, grains and vegetables in 2017.

Imports by Russia from the Philippines stand at $46 million (around ₱2.32 billion), according to government trade statistics.

Beyond economic links, the Philippines is also eyeing military cooperation with Russia. Defense officials have said they were looking into possible joint exercises and weapons deals with the Kremlin.

Building trust

In addition, Khovaev said he is optimistic that Filipinos would trust Russia more as the two countries build bridges.

"It's time for Filipinos to discover Russia, and vice-versa… and I have a strong belief, we'll trust each other." he said.

In a non-commissioned survey released by Pulse Asia on January 12, 38 percent of Filipinos trust Russia, while 58 percent do not.

These figures are far behind that of the United States, which has a 76 percent trust rating.

"It's a good result if we take into account so many decades of Hollywood-style Russian propaganda in your country," he said, in apparent reference to prevailing perceptions of Russia as "communist" when it was formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Philippines has long been known as an ally of the U.S., even after it was colonized by the superpower from 1898 to 1946..With reports from Channel News Asia and CNN Philippines

China, Japan, Korea, Russia compete for $2 Billion Nuclear Plant, LNG Philippines Gas project

Russia Floating Nuclear Power Plant Technology
Russia Floating Nuclear Power Plant Technology. illustration: popsci.com

China, Japan compete for $2bn Philippine gas project


China and Japan are competing for a $2-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Philippines, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Over 20 companies from eight countries have proposed partnerships with state-owned Philippine National Oil Corp. for an LNG receiving terminal at the southern part of Luzon Island. Cusi said his team is still reviewing funding and technology options.

"We are talking to China [and] Japan," he said. "We are looking at which can offer the best in terms of funding. It's too early to say who is more advanced -- there are so many things to look into."

Countries that offer the best financing options usually pick their own domestic contractors. Cusi said Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, and a number of Chinese state-owned and private companies have shown interest.

Cusi is vice chairman of President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban party. He has traveled to Beijing and Tokyo this year to solicit energy investments for the Philippines, which runs into alerts and price spikes for electricity whenever the country's lone LNG facility undergoes maintenance.

Cusi said he plans to travel to South Korea and Russia, and does not favor any particular power-generating technology. He said Malampaya, the only source of natural gas in the Philippines, is expected to be exhausted by 2024. The gas field operated by a consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell provides 40-45% of Luzon island's power requirements. Luzon accounts for two-thirds of gross domestic product in the Philippines.

The proposed terminal could import LNG from other countries while alternate Philippine resources are being developed. These include gas fields in the South China Sea in dispute with China. The terminal's plant will initially generate around 200 megawatts, but can expand to 800MW. Cusi hopes to find an investor this year.

Duterte is targeting total household electrification before he leaves office in 2022. As of December, over 90% of households had access to energy. Cusi also said he is studying the possibility of activating a $2 billion nuclear power plant on the Bataan peninsula. The project, initiated under President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s but never activated, is located near an earthquake fault line.

Sulu Province of Southern Philippines could have the first ever operating 100 MW Nuclear Power Plant this year according to the report (see here) - Nikkei Asian Review
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