PH, Russia finalize military cooperation activities for 2019

Rappler.com
The 2019 activities include cooperation and security consultations between Philippine and Russian defense officials, and reciprocal visits of delegations and observers for military training activities

PORT CALL. Russian guided missile cruiser Varyag makes a port call in Manila on April 20, 2017. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Russia have finalized their military cooperation activities for 2019 which include security consultations and training exchanges, the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) said on Saturday, November 10.

The DND said in a press statement that the Plan of Military Cooperation Activities between the two countries was finalized during the two countries’ second Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting in Moscow, Russia, on November 7.

“The plan consists of activities/engagements, which both sides agreed to conduct in 2019 to include high level exchanges, port visits of navy vessels, attendance in conferences/fora, general staff consultations, cooperation and security consultations, reciprocal visits of delegations and observers for military training activities, and education and training exchanges,” the DND said.

There have been port visits of navy vessels by both countries this year. In June, a Russian navy contingent docked on the South Harbor in Manila for a 5-day goodwill visit to the Philippines; on October 1, the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Tarlac made a historic port call to Vladivostok, Russia.

The DND also said that the Terms of Reference of the JWG on Defense Cooperation was also signed during the meeting, but did not give details.

Defense Assistant Secretary Teodoro Cirilo T. Torralba III led the Philippine contingent in the meeting, while Colonel Maxim Vladimirovich Penkin, Head of the 5th Department of the Main Directorate of the International Military Cooperation, led the Russian side.

The JWG is a platform for Philippine and Russian officials to discuss military-to-military engagements or activities for both countries, the DND said.

The second JWG meeting was convened in accordance with the Philippines-Russia Agreement on Defense Cooperation signed in 2017. – Rappler.com