Moscow to supply state-of-the-art weapons to Manila

Russian soldiers ride on military armoured personnel carriers on a road near the Crimean port city of Sevastopol March 10, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 September 2019

Moscow to supply state-of-the-art weapons to Manila

  • Russia sends defense attache to the Philippines to bolster bilateral ties

MANILA: In a bid to boost the capabilities of the Philippines’ military, Russia said on Wednesday that it will supply the country’s armed forces with brand new, state-of-the-art weapons and equipment. The move follows a reaffirmation by both countries to strengthen defense cooperation in order to contribute toward lasting peace and stability in the region.
“We are ready to supply sophisticated arms and weapons in order to improve the capabilities of the Philippines’ armed forces. We are open to joint training sessions, joint drills and military exercises,” Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev told Arab News at a reception held for the opening of the Office of the Russian Defense Attaché in Manila on Tuesday.
“We offer advanced defense equipment. And if we say that we are ready and want to help your country, to improve your defense capabilities, it means in particular that we are ready to supply sophisticated arms and weapons,” he said.
Recently, Khovaev and the head of Russia’s state arms exporter, Alexander Mikheyev, met with the Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, in Malacañang where they discussed prospects for defense cooperation, especially in combating religious extremism.
“Russia suffered a lot from terrorism. So we know very well what it means. We have a lot of experience and we are ready to share our experience with our partners and friends,” Khovaev said. “We are ready to use all ways and means in order to strengthen military defense ties between our two countries. “It is in the strategic national interest of both Russians and Filipinos.”

HIGHLIGHT

It marks the first time in more than 40 years of Philippines and Russian bilateral relations that Moscow has designated a resident defense attaché to Manila, and follows the deployment of Manila’s first defense attaché to Russia in May last year.

During the reception, Khovaev introduced Col. Dmitry Nikitin, the first Russian defense attaché to the Philippines.
It marks the first time in more than 40 years of Philippines and Russian bilateral relations that Moscow has designated a resident defense attaché to Manila, and follows the deployment of Manila’s first defense attaché to Russia in May last year.
“It was a very meaningful event because it opens up new horizons for bilateral cooperation, particularly in the most sensitive field of defense and national security,” Khovaev said.
“Russia is extending the hand of help to our Philippine partners in mutual defense and security. So it really shows that we are ready to become a reliable partner and close friend for Filipinos,” he added.
“We are now living in a world where all of us depend on each other. No country, big or small, is able to ensure its security and defense on its own simply because the current challenges and threats are transboundary.”
Philippines Defense Undersecretary Raymundo Elefante welcomed the development saying that he is optimistic about stronger military ties between the Manila and Moscow.
“It will be a long journey but I think this relationship will be a very good opportunity,” he said.


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 15 September 2019

UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.