Sep 212016

The Philippines is reaching out to global power Russia to boost its weak defense capability amid security concerns over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, officials said.

Defense officials from the Philippines met recently with the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) to explore ways of cooperating, including training for Filipino military and police officers.

Manila’s envoy to Moscow Carlos Sorreta led Filipino defense officials in meeting with Russian Chief of the First Department of Military Sergey Buganov and officials of the FSMTC. The FSMTC is a federal agency directly under the Russian president’s office in charge of overseeing cooperation deals with foreign countries.

“We welcomed the briefing, which was quite revealing, particularly as to the extent that Russia is able to interact with a large number of countries in this field and the different mechanisms that are employed, including in terms of the acquisition and transfer of Russian military equipment,” Sorreta said in a statement on Wednesday.

Sorreta said the meeting was aimed at exploring “opportunities that could contribute to our government’s efforts to modernize our defense capabilities.”

Russian officials briefed  the Filipino side on the latest in equipment and technology as well as on the possible access to its training. They also discussed investments in domestic military production, servicing and different modes of financing.

Russia sells military equipment and military-related equipment to a host of nations including the United States, as well as  developing nations like India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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