Duterte, Putin talk vaccine, security, trade in teleconference

by
@SAPBONGGO

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Russian leader Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin held a teleconference on April 13, discussing coronavirus vaccines, security ties, and trade opportunities.

The phone conversation, which lasted around 30 minutes, was held in time for the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Manila and Moscow, according to the presidential palace.

Mr. Duterte was joined by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go, a former aide of the President.

The two leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of the President said in a statement.

The Palace said both Presidents “discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russia’s Sputnik V must be mobilized to as many countries as possible.”

The Philippines would take delivery of about 20 million doses of Sputnik V developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute in the coming months, on top of the 500,000 doses expected to arrive this April, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Tuesday.

Aside from pandemic-related measures, Mr. Duterte and Mr. Putin also discussed defense and security ties, it said.

The two leaders vowed to sustain their gains over the past five years, which were “fostered by regular exchanges between defense, intelligence and military agencies.”

Mr. Putin also emphasized the many opportunities for Russia-Philippines relations in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture and energy development “even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation,” the Palace said. Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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