Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: EPA/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) -   Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte flew to Russia on May 22 for his three-day visit to cement bilateral ties.

As scheduled, Duterte will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 25 to discuss bilateral links across politics, economy-trade, culture and humanity as well as regional and global issues, focusing on ensuring security and stability in Asia-Pacific.

Both sides will issue a joint statement and sign a number of agreements on cooperation in national defence-security, judicial assistance, trade and investment, nuclear energy and culture. They plan to extend discussions on coping with security challenges.

According to Philippine Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs Maria Kleofe Natividad said the Philippines and Russia will enhance military coordination, firstly opening defence attaché offices in respective embassies in Moscow and Manila in order to increase partnerships in traditional and non-traditional issues such as fighting terrorism and drug smuggling.

The Philippines and Russia established diplomatic ties 41 years ago. However, two-way trade remains modest, standing at 226 million USD in 2016.-VNA