Russia sent its anti-submarine destroyer and a replenishment oiler to the Philippines in a bid to hold maritime exercises with the latter, according to various media reports.
The two ships — Admiral Tributs, an anti-submarine vessel, and a sea tanker Boris Butoma — arrived in Manila on Tuesday, 3 January, on a four-day goodwill visit.
According to AFP, Russia wants to hold maritime drills with the Philippines to help combat terrorism and piracy by sending two warships to Manila for the first official navy-to-navy contact.
Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, said they want to duplicate the exercises they were holding with other Southeast Asian countries by holding bilateral training here or in Moscow with Filipino sailors.
The biggest problem now in the world is terrorism and piracy, and all our exercises we have, for example, with you we will have to fight these problems and we will show you what we can do and we will see what you can do and show us, Mikhailov said.
Mikhailov said the Russian Navy could demonstrate its capabilities, as it did in Indonesia
in October and November last year, during which Russia showed a large number of maritime equipment
From the Philippines' perspective, stronger ties with Moscow would be a natural means by which to internationalize otherwise local South China Sea disputes, thus contributing to regional stability or at least raising the cost of military action for countries such as China.