MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans yet of forging a military alliance with Russia.
Speaking to Russian television network RT, Duterte said he only wanted to forge closer ties with Russia and neighbor China “to show to the world that I’m not limited to a few countries, that I have to interact with the rest of the world because we are a sovereign state.”
“We have to do business and have diplomatic relations with everybody. If there is good to it, then I thank god,” he said.
He said the Philippines may not be ready for a military pact with either Russia and China right now.
“I’m not ready for military alliances because we have a treaty signed in the ’50s,” Duterte said, referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the United States and Philippines.
“But I’m ready to cooperate with my new friends, China and Russia, to make this world more peaceful.”
Duterte has been blasting the US for its criticisms of his war on drugs.
Angered by what he believes is Washington’s intervention in domestic affairs, Duterte is seeking to distance the Philipines from the world’s most powerful country, and pivot the country’s foreign policy toward Beijing and Moscow.
Following the threat of a US senator to block a firearms’ purchase for the Philippine National Police, Duterte said he would simply turn to Russia or China for the country’s firearms needs.
source : abs cbn