Duterte returns to Russia in October
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plans to make a second visit to Russia to make up for his interrupted trip there in May 2017.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Wednesday, September 18, confirmed that Duterte has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to make another official trip to the northern country.
“He (President Duterte) said the Russian President invited him and he has accepted,” Panelo said in Filipino in a media interview in Malacañang.
He added that the trip will likely take place in the first week of October.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr had previously mentioned the upcoming trip.
“The President will go to Russia next month to make up for his first visit that was aborted within half a day of arriving with the fault of Marawi jihadists, including foreign fighters,” Lacsin said on September 12.
Back in May 2017, Duterte arrived in Moscow to begin a 4-day official visit, but the lasted less than a day because back in the Philippines, Muslim extremists had taken over Marawi City, beginning a 5-month siege. Duterte had to cut the trip short.
Hours after arriving in Russia, Duterte declared martial law over Mindanao, as announced by then presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella in a press conference held in Moscow.
Duterte managed to meet with Putin, whom he had called his "idol," before he hastily flew back to Manila.
If his trip had not been cut short, Duterte would have attended two business fora, addressed the Moscow State Institute of International Relations where he would have received an honorary doctorate degree, and visited a military shipyard in St Petersburg.
The Palace had yet to release more details about Duterte's upcoming Russia visit. – Rappler.com