By Alexis Romero
MOSCOW – Russia has asked the Philippines to submit a shopping list of defense equipment after President Rodrigo Duterte urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide him with a loan to buy firearms.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano said the Russian government was willing to “do all efforts” to accommodate Duterte’s request.
“The response of the Russian Federation through President (Vladimir) Putin was very, very generous. So they said, well, we have the framework in place through our agreements to cooperate,” Cayetano said in a press briefing Wednesday night here.
“They have showed us what is available to us. I’m not at liberty now to discuss that…but they are awaiting our proposals,” he added.
While there was no decision yet on the loan being sought by the Philippines, Cayetano said Russia has provided help to countries that it considers as friends.
“It’s nothing new for the Russian Federation to lend a helping hand to countries that are their friends,” the Foreign Affairs chief said.
Duterte asked Putin for a soft loan during their bilateral meeting in Kremlin last Tuesday, hours before the Philippine leader left for Manila. Duterte said he needed money to buy firearms as the Philippines’ rifle deal with the US had been scrapped.
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