Duterte Visit to Moscow: Seeks Military, Energy Cooperation

Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Rodri­go Duterte made a state vis­it to Moscow Octo­ber 2–6. Among oth­er points, Duterte invit­ed Ros­neft chief exec­u­tive Igor Sechin to invest in oil and gas devel­op­ment in the Philip­pines. Com­ments short­ly there­after by Philip­pines Ambas­sador to Rus­sia Car­los Sor­re­ta sug­gest­ed that the fact that Rus­sia is not a claimant state in the South Chi­na Sea (unlike Chi­na) played a role in Duterte’s pro­pos­al, but ana­lysts have said that Rus­sia is unlike­ly to do any­thing that risks desta­bi­liz­ing the pos­i­tiv­i­ty that cur­rent­ly char­ac­ter­izes its rela­tion­ship with Bei­jing. Sep­a­rate­ly, Ros­neft signed an agree­ment with the Philip­pines Depart­ment of Ener­gy regard­ing future coop­er­a­tion on the con­struc­tion of nuclear pow­er plants in the Philip­pines. This fol­lows a coop­er­a­tion agree­ment signed by the Philip­pines Min­istry of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy and Rosatom in Novem­ber 2017 on peace­ful appli­ca­tions of nuclear tech­nol­o­gy. There is noth­ing to indi­cate that Chi­na has sought to coop­er­ate with the Philip­pines on nuclear devel­op­ment.