Russia interested in having military relationship with PHL, says defense chief

By on January 1, 2017


Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) with President Rodrigo Duterte (right). (TOTO LOZANO/PPD)
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) with President Rodrigo Duterte (right). (TOTO LOZANO/PPD)

MANILA—Russia is very much interested in having a military-to-military relationship with the Philippines, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on the sidelines of Friday’s Rizal Day commemorations.

“They (Russians) are very aggressive in wanting a military-to-military relationship with us,” he said in Filipino.

Lorenzana said this was made apparent during his recent visit to Russia, along with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay.

He however clarified that this is not a prelude to an alliance but merely student-to-student exchanges, sending of observers in exercises and selling of some military hardware to the Philippines.

“We will look into their hardware one of these days for testing, once samples become available for testing,” he added, stressing that these talks are only at the initial phase.

Russia is offering the Philippines drones and submarines, which Lorenzana said the country could not afford at the moment due to the massive investments needed for acquisition, training of crew, and creation of support facilities for the undersea craft.