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He may consider Russian President Vladimir Putin his idol but President Duterte is still not keen on forging new military alliance with Russia.
After criticizing the United States and other Western nations as bullies and hypocrites, Duterte is committed to forge closer cooperation with Russia and China to promote peace and progress in the region.
“I am not ready for military alliances because we have a treaty that was signed in the 50s,” the President said in an interview with a Russian television network, alluding to the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty. “But I am ready to cooperate with my new friends – China and Russia – to make this world more peaceful,” Duterte told RT news.
In recent months, the President has slammed the United States and other Western nations for meddling in domestic affairs, especially with their unfair criticisms on his brutal war on illegal drugs.
Annoyed by the criticisms from the West, Duterte decided to veer towards two perceived rivals of the US – Russia and China – in strengthening diplomatic and economic relations.
In the RT interview, the President admitted that he wanted to be “closer” to Russia and China because he did not like the supposed unfair treatment of the West towards the country.
Duterte recalled that in his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, they instantly became friends.
Duterte also accepted Putin’s invitation to visit Moscow next year.
Duterte said he did not ask for anything from the Russian leader when they met for the first time on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru.
“In all of our talks, I never said that ‘I want this’ or ‘I want that.’ I just also told President Putin, you know, that I just want to be friends, to show to the world that I am not limited to a few countries, that I have to interact with the rest of the world, because we are a sovereign state,” he said.
“And we have to do business and to have diplomatic relations with everybody. And if there is good to it, then I thank God,” he added.
On his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the President described him as a “great guy.” “I realized a little bit that somehow we’d missed out (on) chances in our history,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)