Russian Federation ready to 'expand ties' with PH, Medvedev tells Duterte

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday and agreed to further develop their countries' economic cooperation and step up efforts to peacefully denuclearize North Korea. Duterte suggested an exhibit showcasing Filipino products to Russians and other Eurasians.

Duterte began his remarks by thanking Russian Federation for the 5,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles it gave to the Philippine military.

"We were able to use the rifles and the arms that you gave us on time", Duterte said.

Last month, Russian Federation donated 5,000 units of AK-74M Kalashnikov assault rifles and one million units 1943-type cartridges with steel core bullets to the Philippines.

Duterte also brought up the topic of Russians Yuri Kirdyushkin and Anastasia Novopashina, who are now detained in the Philippines on drug-related charges. He promised that they will be treated fairly and will be detained in comfortable quarters.

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For his part, Medvedev expressed Moscow's readyness to "expand ties" with the Philippines in various areas, including politics, trade and economic cooperation, culture, counter- terrorism and technical cooperation.

"We will keep standing by your side, we'll keep assisting you in this very important and sensitive theme and along this track of fight against terrorism in the course, like bringing or restoring law and order", said Medvedev, through a translator. He also stated that the trade turnover between Russian Federation and ASEAN nations had the potential for a many-fold increase, and noted that the sides were not using all possible opportunities to achieve this.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has accused the USA and its allies of using economic sanctions as a weapon against competitors, adding that the rules regulating global trade were not in step with a rapidly-changing reality.

The meeting of Medvedev and Jae-in took place at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which coincides with the deployment of three USA aircraft carriers to participate in joint maneuvers with South Korean naval formations.

The signing was made during President Duterte's bilateral meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev where both reaffirmed the close ties between their respective countries.

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