Top Russian oil firm urged to invest in PH

October 03, 2019

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has asked Russia’s top oil producer to invest in the Philippines, Malacañang said Thursday.

Duterte made the pitch on Wednesday during his meeting with Rosneft Oil chief executive officer Igor Sechin in Moscow.

“The President invited Rosneft, the leader in the Russian oil sector, to invest in the Philippines, particularly with regard to oil and gas development,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo added that Duterte assured officials of the Russian firm that their investments are safe in the Philippines.

“We wish to add that the Chief Executive underscored that any agreement that will be executed or performed for such purpose shall undergo the proper domestic processes and comply with applicable laws and pertinent rules and regulations so as not to leave any room for corruption or irregularity,” Panelo said.

Duterte was joined by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, and Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos Sorreta during the meeting.

The Philippine president is in Russia for a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin after his first trip to the country was cut short in May 2017 due to a terror attack in the southern Philippines that forced him to come home earlier than scheduled.

In Sochi

Duterte arrived in Sochi in Russia yester-day morning (PHL time) for the bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Sandra Aguinaldo’s report on Unang Hirit.

Duterte came from Moscow where he met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

In Sochi, Duterte and Putin will witness the exchange of several bilateral agreements that cover political cooperation, health, science and technology and culture.

President Duterte is also scheduled to meet with the King of Jordan, Abdullah Bin al Hussein, and speak at the Valdai Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, a prominent think tank in Russia.

The Valdai forum gathers world leaders, top Russian and international officials as well as policymakers and academics to discuss issues in line with this year’s theme “The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order.”

Duterte’s October 1 to 5 trip to Russia will be a follow-up to his inaugural visit in May 2017, which was cut short by the conflict in Marawi City.

On Friday, Duterte will attend a business forum in Moscow aimed at promoting the trade and investment opportunities between the Philippines and Russia.

Another activity of the President in the Russian capital is the conferment of an honorary doctorate degree by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, one of Russia’s most prestigious learning institutions. He is expected to give a lecture to Russia’s future diplomats.

His other scheduled activities in Moscow include a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Aleksandrovsky Garden, tour of the Kremlin Palace and attendance at a Filipino cultural performance.

Duterte will end his visit on Saturday with a meeting with the Filipino community there.

Duterte, Medvedev meet

Duterte and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held their bilateral meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, with each leader expressing interest in further enhancing ties between their two countries.

In his opening remarks, Duterte brought up the port call of the Navy ship BRP Tarlac in Vladivostok in 2018 to stress the unprecedented strategic cooperation between the Philippines and Russia.

“In 2017 during my first visit to Russia, we successfully set the foundation for the bilateral cooperation,” Duterte said.

“Since then, we have seen the mark of our progress in our engagement including such strategic areas as defense and secuirty,” he added.

Duterte said the port call of BRP Tarlac “was a historic milestone in our relations.”

“This was unthinkable a few years back yet we did it and more firsts to follow,” Duterte said.

“We now have consultative mechanisms where we explore ways to expound our cooperations in various areas including trade and investment, defense and security, energy, science and technology and more,” he added.

Medvedev said Russia was interested in realizing the “various projects in transport, in energy and agriculture and in various humanitarian aspects.”

“During your visit, we’re going to sign important, for our bilateral relations, documents,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev in jest took a dig at the United States in welcoming Duterte.

“I’m very glad to welcome you again in Moscow, in this building. We call this building sometimes White House but this is not the same White House as in that other country,”  Medvedev said.

“It’s a little bit bigger than the White House we both know, and better,” he added.

The US, the Philippines treaty ally, was locked in a cold war with the old Soviet Union for decades until the USSR crumbled in the 1990s