Russia no longer the defunct USSR
A few comments on Amando Doronila’s column “Duterte plays hard ball” (Opinion, 11/9/16) regarding a possible arms trade with Russia. Doronila is concerned about the “quid pro quo” in the deal, even implying that President Duterte is making undisclosed arrangements with Russia.
I would like to remind Doronila that the Russian Federation is no longer the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) which ceased to exist a quarter century ago. Russia shapes its foreign economic policy based on free market, equality and transparency. Its defense cooperation and trade are clear of political implications, and are never used to exert political pressure, or to interfere in the domestic politics of other states. Being no part of military alliances, our country never imposes a sale of its products.
Russia’s progress in foreign trade is another argument attesting to the success of our market economy: Our exporters have proved globally competitive. Our only trump cards are state-guaranteed high-quality goods, reasonable prices, and fulfillment of contractual obligations with no political considerations. Moreover, our military suppliers do not just sell their produce, they also provide maintenance and staff training and technology transfer. In other words, they build a complete industry sector, which is something that not every exporter would do. Naturally, they operate within the framework of international law, including relevant multilateral arms control regimes.
I suggest that Doronila review Russia’s defense cooperation experience with India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, and others—vivid examples of successful trade and technology partnership with sovereign Asian nations—to check the truthfulness of my claim. I am sure that after a thorough study, he will stay away from his outdated prejudices and groundless suspicions.
I would like to assure Doronila that the price of cooperating with Russia is only the interests of mutually beneficial partnership, as well as security and sustainable development in the region.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation, which is open to contacts and to a partnership with the Philippines, is ready to assist the Filipino in any matter to make possible for Philippine media to do objective and truthful reports about Russia’s foreign and domestic policies.
ILYA E. PERENKOV, press attaché, Embassy of the Russian Federation
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