MANILA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and Russia want to deepen their military-to-military cooperation, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.
Already, the foreign department said in a statement that defense officials from the Philippines and Russia started discussions last week on possible defense cooperation especially in the areas of military education, counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
Philippine Defense Undrsecretary for Finance and Materiel Raymundo Elefante met with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov on Sept. 7 in Moscow at the sidelines of the International Military-Technical Forum Army 2016, the foreign department said.
"The two sides reiterated their interest and commitment to advance Philippine-Russia military-to-military engagement," read the statement posted by Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta on his Facebook page.
The DFA said both sides also discussed prospects for cooperation in the areas of security and technical matters, military medicine, peacekeeping, among others.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had a bilateral meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Vientiane, Laos last week on the sidelines of the leaders' meetings between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.
Duterte, who called Medvedev a "friend", told a news conference upon his arrival from Laos that he was delighted to meet Medvedev. He declined to go into the details of their bilateral meeting.