Wed. May 19th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.news.abs-cbn.com)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday extended an invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines next year “as soon as circumstances allow.”

Duterte extended the invitation through new Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Ignatyevich Pavlov who was in Malacañang Palace to present his credentials.

“Next year marks the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. I take this opportunity to reiterate my invitation to President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines as soon as our circumstances will allow. It will be an opportunity to celebrate and reaffirm the enduring friendship and cooperation between our countries,” he said in his speech.

In October 2019, then Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said Putin had already accepted Duterte’s invitation.

If Putin pushes through with the visit, it will be his first visit to Manila. Duterte has visited Russia twice— in 2017 and 2019.

Duterte also thanked Russia for their offer to provide the Philippines with doses of their potential vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We thank Russia for its offer to supply Sputnik V and share this technology on vaccine production with the Philippines,” he said.Russia earlier said that its Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute and the Russian defense ministry, is 92-percent effective at protecting people from Covid-19 based on interim trial results. SOVEREIGNPH

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