RUSSIA is proposing weapons manufacturing in the Philippines for the export market, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said in a briefing Tuesday.
The items proposed for manufacture here are small arms and other light weapons.
“We have a very good proposal for you Filipinos. We are ready to optimize a joint production of Russian sophisticated Russian light arms… here in the Philippines,” he said.
“They will be Philippine products based on Russian technology. The Philippines will then be an exporter of advanced small arms and light weapons.”
Mr. Khovaev said Russia will be working with the Philippine government and business partners in exploring the possibility of a manufacturing partnership.
“Both sides are committed to open up new horizons in defense cooperation, and one of these horizons is the joint manufacturing of weapons here on Philippine soil. So now both sides are exploring specific opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Khovaev reiterated that Russia is “ready” to supply weapons to the Philippines with “no political conditionality” to the deal.
He said that Russia wants to help the Philippines develop its own defense industry in the process of building a long-term strategic cooperation between the countries.
During his visit to Russia in early October, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a memorandum of intent on the possible construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines.
“Russia is a nuclear superpower. We have the most sophisticated technologies in this field. And we are ready to help the Philippines in developing your nuclear industry, provided that our Philippine partners want that,” Mr. Khovaev said. — Jenina P. Ibañez