The Russian Navy (RN) has vowed to help the Philippine Navy (PN) in submarine training and maintenance as the two countries seek to strengthen their military-to-military ties, a Xinhua reports quoted a spokesman for the PN.
PN Commander Jonathan Zata said that the commitment was made at the meeting on July 29 in the Russian port city of St. Petersburg between the PN Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad and RN Chief Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Korolev.
The meeting between Emperad and Korolev took place amid plans of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to acquire a submarine to beef up its defense capability. The Philippines is looking at Russia as “possible sources” of submarine.
“It was during this historic meeting that a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) for deepening security cooperation between the two navies was discussed,” Zata said in a statement without elaborating on the details of the MOU.
At the meeting, he said Korolev “assured his commitment to supporting the upgrade program of the PN in terms of training, maintenance and sustainment of future acquisition particularly the submarine acquisition project of the PN.”
Moreover, Zata said Korolev also “mentioned” about the conduct of joint humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) training and regular visits of Russian military ships to the Philippines.
Zata also said that Korolev “expressed his appreciation” for the upcoming visit of a PN ship in Vladivostok, Russia. Russian warships have made four port visits to the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016.