By: Manual Mogato
MANILA — Russian navy vessels 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.
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