Putin congratulates Duterte for ending joint US and Philippines military drills

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The rivals of the United States, Russia has congratulated the Philippines for ending further joint US and Philippines military drills.

Sending the congratulatory message, the leader of Russia Vladimir Putin said the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has taken the right decision and at the right time as a joint military ally with the United States could have ruined the country’s independence in the near future.

Duterte said he is giving notice to the United States, his country’s long-standing ally, that joint exercises of Filipino and American troops next week will be the last such drills.

He told the Filipino community in Hanoi late on Wednesday night that he will maintain the military alliance with the US because of the countries’ 1951 defence treaty. He says next week’s exercises will proceed only because he did not want to embarrass his defence secretary.

Duterte said he wants establish new trade and commercial alliances with China and Russia, and the war games were something Beijing does not want.

Describing himself as a socialist, Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the US. He said he was charting a foreign policy not dependent on the US.

“I would serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” he said. “Jointly, Philippines-US, the last one.”

“I will maintain the military alliance because there is an RP-US pact which our countries signed in the early ‘50s,” he said, referring to the Republic of the Philippines.

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