The Philippines hopes for long-term defense industry cooperation in Russia which would involve supplies of helicopters and armored vehicles, Ambassador of the Philippines in Moscow Carlos Sorreta told Sputnik on Wednesday.
Sorreta noted that the two nations are already discussing agreement how to have some of the equipment in training and intelligence exchange.
"Most of the equipment is infantry equipment, small arms — we need it because we are actually fighting terrorists on the ground and eventually helicopters and armored vehicles in the mid-term or long-term. It's possible this year. You have good weapons, we didn't know it because we used Americans," the ambassador said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is planning a working visit to the Philippines in order to sign a defense industry cooperation agreement between the two nations, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Tuesday.
Moscow and Manila have so far not signed a single contract on defense industry cooperation. At the same time, the Philippine side has certain difficulties in purchasing new weapons from the United States as Washington imposes certain conditions on Manila. In May, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in his interview with Russian media that Manila would like to buy Russian arms, as Moscow "does not impose any conditions."
During his visit to Russia in May to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte expressed Manila's interest in advanced Russian weapons, including helicopters, planes, as well as precision-guided weapons to help combat the terror threat. According to the country's ambassador, the Philippines could sign a series of arms delivery contracts with Russia by the end of the year.
The country has also shown interest in Russia's anti-terror equipment amid the ongoing operation against a Daesh-linked terrorist group.