Turning Away From US, Philippines Plans to Buy Russian Weapons This Year
The Philippines intends to buy small arms from Russia before the end of the year and plans to discuss the details in Moscow, Defense Undersecretary Raymundo DV Elefante told Sputnik on Tuesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The news comes amid a political rift between the Philippines and the US, its traditional supplier of weapons.
“In Moscow we will discuss in detail what [small arms] we will be buying by the end of the this year. We already have budget intended for that,” Elefante said on the sidelines of the Army-2017 expo.
The official added that the representatives of the Southeast Asian nation would hold a number of meetings with the Russian officials on the issue.
During his visit to Russia in May to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte expressed Manila’s interest in advanced Russian weapons, including helicopters, planes, as well as precision-guided weapons to help combat the terror threat. According to the country’s ambassador, the Philippines could sign a series of arms delivery contracts with Russia by the end of the year.
The country has shown intertest in Russia’s anti-terror equipment amid the ongoing operation against a Daesh-linked terrorist group.Until now there have been no agreements on military cooperation between the Philippines and Russia, since Manila has traditionally acquired weapons from the United States.
Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said earlier that the acquisition of US arms had become problematic since Washington was hampering this issue, imposing a number of conditions on Manila.