4.1.17

Moscow and Manila Seek Closer Naval Cooperation

On Tuesday, two Russian naval vessels docked in Manila in the first official interaction between the two countries’ navies. Russian navy officials stated that Moscow would seek stronger naval cooperation ties with Manila over counterterrorism and counter piracy operations.
The Cipher Take: This could be beneficial for the agendas of the leaders of both countries. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has voiced his opposition to strengthening military cooperation with the United States, and partnering with Russia could provide Manila with a valuable ally. In addition to naval drills, Russia could also be a source of weapons sales and counter terrorism training; for decades, the Philippines has dealt with the Islamist insurgent group Abu Sayaff. But while Duterte may undervalue the U.S. alliance, much of the Filipino armed forces does not, and reportedly would prefer continued partnership with the U.S. military.

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