Russia to send first designated defense attaché to PHL

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed an order to send his country’s first designated defense attaché to the Philippines, the Russian Embassy in Manila announced on Thursday.

The move, according to the embassy, signals Moscow’s determination to strengthen military and technical cooperation with Manila. According to Natalia Naumova, press attaché at the embassy, no specific person was designated yet.

“It was the principal decision to establish such position at the embassy. [We] will start working on it now as we have the frameworks,”  she said.  The Russian leader’s order comes more than a month after the Philippines sent its first defense attaché to Moscow.

As per an earlier post by Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta, Col. Dennis Pastor was with his administrative assistant T/Sgt. Pablito Igne when he reported for duty in May 2018 as head of the Office of Defense Attaché in the Philippine Embassy.

He described the sending of a Philippine defense attaché to Russia as the “first time in over 40 years” of relations between the two states.

The bilateral relations of the two countries continue to improve since President Duterte assumed office in 2016.

Meanwhile, defense cooperation between Moscow and Manila developed further after the signing of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation and the Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation in 2017.