The Philippines and Russia have vowed to work together in the fight against COVID-19, a commitment made during a phone call between President Duterte and President Vladimir Putin.
Malacañang said the two leaders spoke for 30 minutes on Tuesday afternoon (Manila time) in an "open and productive telesummit" that underscored the importance of increasing vaccine production and the need to mobilize Russia-made jabs to as many countries as possible.
Mr. Duterte thanked Putin for Russia's commitment to bolster cooperation in various areas, including the pandemic response, the Palace said in a statement.
"Both Presidents discussed the global and regional vaccine landscapes, noting that vaccines such as Russia's Sputnik V must be mobilized to as many countries as possible," the Palace said.
Malacanang also confirmed that the Philippines would be ordering 20,000,000 doses of Sputnik V developed by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
The two leaders also "stressed the importance of ramping up global production and supply" of the vaccine.
They also noted the "steady progress" in defense and security cooperation between the Philippines and Russia, including "regular exchanges between the defense, intelligence and military agencies" of the two nations.
They "vowed to sustain the momentum gained over the past five years," the Palace said.
"President Putin highlighted the positive trajectory of Russia-Philippines relations and emphasized the many opportunities for greater cooperation in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture and energy development even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation," the Palace said.
Mr. Duterte reiterated his invitation for Putin to visit the Philippines when circumstances allow, a gesture welcomed by the Russian leader, it added. INQ
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