The Russian government on Saturday said there's no hidden agenda nor political conditionality behind its donation of military weaponry and equipment to the Philippines.
'We Russians, we have no hidden agenda. If we extend our help to you, we are doing that sincerely. We have no hidden agenda and political conditionalities,' ABS-CBN quoted Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines Ambassador Igor Khovaev as saying.
Extolling the recent liberation of war-ravaged Marawi City from Daesh-linked militants, Mr Khovaev said Russia is ready to help Filipinos in their legitimate fight versus terrorism.
The cooperation between the Philippines and Russia will have no political conditionality and that's the fundamental principle of the military collaboration with all interested foreign partners, Mr Khovaev assured.
Mr Khovaev's statement came after the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet's three warships docked at the Manila South Harbor on Friday for a goodwill visit in the country from October 20 to 26.
The warships contain special military equipment that will be donated by the Russian Federation to the Philippines as part of the development of a military cooperation program between the two countries.
Khovaev confirmed the arms shipment. 'Russia fully supports (the Philippines) in the struggle against terrorism. We are ready to extend help to the country,” he said.
He also told reporters that the Philippines and Russia are on the right track in terms of forging better relationship as envisioned by President Vladimir Putin and President Rodrigo Duterte who visited Moscow in May 2017.
“The Philippines and Russia are on the right track. I am confirming once again that the Russian Federation is open to consider all bilateral cooperation on military and technical field,” he was futher quoted as saying.
Friday's arrival of Russian warships in Philippines coincided with the visit of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to Manila to forge new contracts on the supply of military equipment.
However, no announcement has been made yet on a specific date of the document’s conclusion and signing of the contracts or agreement.
In previous speeches, President Duterte who described President Putin as his good friend said he is enhancing the ties to Russia.
Duterte revealed Russia will also donate a total of 5,000 Russian-made AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles and 20 brand new big military trucks to the Philippines.
By Hader Glang in Zamboanga City, Philippines