LIMA, Peru — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte praised Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday during a meeting with him on the sidelines of the two-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) here.
Pres. Duterte said he is pleased to meet Pres. Putin “not only because you represent a great country, but because of your leadership skills.” He added that he was looking forward to meeting the Russian president.
For his part, President Putin congratulated President Duterte for winning the May 9, 2016 elections and likewise expressed his pleasure at meeting him. He explained that May 9 is a special date for all Russians, as the country marks victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
Pres. Putin also noted that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines- Russia diplomatic relations, and acknowledged the many accomplishments that have promoted trust and confidence between the two countries.
Both leaders discussed the various ways to further develop comprehensive bilateral cooperation in areas, such as economic, security and defense, cultural and people-to-people exchange, among others. They likewise agreed to sustain the high-level meetings and consultations that would enhance the mutually beneficial relations.
Present during the meeting were members of President Duterte’s Cabinet including Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.
President Putin was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials of the Russian government.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting is taking place in Peruvian capital, Lima, on November 19-20.
APEC unites 21 Pacific Rim countries, including Russia, US, China, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, promoting free trade in the Asia-Pacific region.