April 13th local time, the Philippine Presidential Palace issued a statement saying that Philippine President Duterte talked with Russian President Putin by phone that night. The call lasted about 30 minutes, and the participants included Philippine Foreign Minister Lochin and Senator Christopher Wu.
The statement said that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Russia, and the two sides reiterated the need to strengthen cooperation, especially to jointly respond to the COVID-19 epidemic. Duterte thanked Russia for its commitment to cooperation in many fields, especially in the fight against the epidemic.
The two sides discussed the global and regional prospects for the coronavirus vaccine, and the Philippines is currently negotiating to buy more Russian “Sputnik V” vaccines. The two sides also stressed the importance of accelerating the global production and supply of vaccines.
The statement said that both sides have noticed the steady progress of cooperation in the field of defense and security, and both sides will promote regular exchanges between defense, intelligence and military institutions to stabilize the gains made over the past five years.
Russian President Putin highly appreciated the positive trajectory of Russian-Philippine relations and stressed that there are still many opportunities for the two sides to strengthen cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture and energy development, and the two sides will further deepen political and security cooperation.
Philippine President Duterte welcomed the invitation to visit the Philippines again when circumstances permit.