President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited on Friday, April 21 the Russian guided missile cruiser ”Varyag” anchored in the Port of Manila. Upon arrival at Pier 15, the Chief Executive was accorded arrival honors by the Russian Navy Contingent. The President then boarded the ship for a tour.
He was accompanied by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Department of Foreign Affairs acting Secretary Enrique Manalo. He first went to the upper deck where the short-range anti-missile rocket system is located. He proceeded to the mid-ship where the long-range anti-aircraft missile rocket system is placed.
Duterte also went to the bough where the ship’s main weapon or the long distance anti-ship missile and anti-aircraft carrier are located. ”The Russians are with me, I shall not be afraid,” the President said as he stood for a photo with the Russians. The President also went to the ship museum as well as the Admiral’s room for the guest book signing. President Duterte earlier said he welcomed the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit their country.
According to the President, he is going to Russia to forge stronger relations. It will be recalled that President Duterte met Russian President Putin last November at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru. In January, the President visited the Russian large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, which also anchored in the country for a goodwill visit. ### (PND)