The large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev of the Russian Navy (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Three Russian Navy warships docked at the South Harbor in Manila, the Philippines on January 6 for a six-day visit to the Southeast Asian country, the Philippine Navy and the Russian Embassy in Manila said.

Guided missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet, large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev and large sea tanker Bris Butoma arrived in Manila on January 6 morning, becoming the first foreign ships to pay a visit to the Philippines in 2019.

The Russian Embassy in Manila said in a statement that the purpose of the unofficial visit aims to further enhance the naval cooperation between the Philippine and Russian navies.

Meanwhile, Philippine Navy spokesman Cdr. Jonathan Zata said the visit will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability and maritime cooperation of the two countries, through naval diplomacy and camaraderie.

Zata said the visit of the Russian warships this year is the seventh since 2012. Most of these visits took place during President Rodrigo Duterte's government.

In October last year, a Philippine Navy warship made its first ever port visit to Vladivostok, Russia. Philippine defence and Navy officials said they were mulling sending another ship to St. Petersburg.

In May 2017, the Philippines and Russia signed 11 agreements on various fields, including bilateral cooperation in military and national defence, on the occasion of Duterte’s visit to Russia. -VNA