President Rodrigo Duterte had a short meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin before he left for the Philippines because of a terror attack in Marawi.
Putin on the hand had attended a few commitments and was able to return to the Russian capital Tuesday evening.
Duterte had told Putin that he would have to cut the meeting short because of the insurgency going on in Marawi as of the moment. He exchanged words of friendship and cooperation with the Russian leader and assured him that the Philippines under his administration will have a more independent foreign policy.
It has been reported that President Duterte also asked for a soft loan, stating that the US had canceled its arms deal with the Philippines and that it would be needed for urgent measures now that he had declared martial law in Mindanao.
It has been reported that the United States had restricted its arms sale to the Philippines in opposition to President Duterte’s aggressive war against illegal drugs.
Putin expressed his condolence for the attack on Marawi and hoped that the conflict will be resolved with minimum losses. He also said that Russia will improve its relations with the Philippines and said that they could cooperate in the military sphere.
Both parties are scheduled to sign a defense cooperation deal between their respective defense secretaries on Thursday, May 25.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was left in Russia to represent the President in signing other agreements and deals.