President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has recognized Russia’s role in the development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) especially after the bloc’s relationship with Russia was elevated to strategic partnership in 2018.
Joining other leaders of the ASEAN and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin at the virtual 4th ASEAN-Russia Summit Thursday, President Duterte lauded the 30 years of dialogue relationship between ASEAN and Russia, which was updated three years ago.
“I am very much encouraged by our growing cooperation across the three pillars of ASEAN,” the President said.
The Filipino leader thanked Russia for its donation of Sputnik V vaccines to the Philippines and welcomed the resumption of training courses for epidemiologists in Vladivostok to help boost ASEAN countries’ capacity to address and prevent future outbreaks.
The Philippines, he said, fully supports the ASEAN-Russia Plan of Action 2021-2025 aimed at strengthening cooperation in disaster management, cybersecurity, research and development, and innovation.
Underscoring the importance of the initiative, he said, “We must ensure its effective implementation to bolster post-pandemic recovery and enhance our resilience against pandemics”.
President Duterte likewise welcomed Russia’s renewed commitment to work with the ASEAN to combat the proliferation of illegal narcotics, promote peace and prosperity for the peoples of the Asia-Pacific, Indian Ocean region and Greater Eurasia, and deepen defense engagement through the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).
The Philippines backs Russia’s co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter-Terrorism for the cycle 2021-2024.
“All these important initiatives add greater value to our Strategic Partnership,” President Duterte stressed. PND