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20 April 2017, 06:28 | Erica Roy
Russia's guided missile cruiser named Varyag is now docked in Manila for a goodwill visit. Jorge Cariño ABS-CBN News
Russian guided missile cruiser Varyag arrived in Manila on Thursday, April 20, the Russian Navy's second goodwill visit to the Philippines this year. "We can also view their technology as part of our modernization", Navy fleet staff for maintenance and fix, Capt. Leo Ramon Miado, said on the sidelines of the Varyag's arrival ceremony at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila on Thursday morning. He said he seeks to forge a foreign policy that is independent of the country's longtime treaty ally, the US.
The Russian vessel is the flagship of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.
Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a "significant contribution" to strengthening relations and maintaining stability in the region.
The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.
Captain Leo Ramon Miado of the Philippine Navy said they look forward to training with their Russian counterparts.
In January, Manila was visited by a large anti-submarine ship of the Pacific fleet, Admiral Tributs, a 6,930-ton Project 1155 Udaloy I-class anti-submarine warfare destroyer originally built for the Soviet Navy, and Boris Butoma, a Chilikin-class fleet replenishment oiler.
The visit of the Russian ships comes amid weakening ties between the Philippines and United States under Duterte, who has been angered by Washington's criticisms on his war on drugs.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte toured the anti-submarine ship.
A series of activities coincide with the arrival of the warships.
During his visit to Russian Federation, government-to-government deals on military cooperation and economic partnership are expected to be signed.
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