Key PH-Russia Security Agreement Enters into Force

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National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon welcomes Mr. Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, at the Marco Polo Hotel, in Davao City on 16 February 2017. (Photo courtesy of the National Security Council)

16 January 2018 MOSCOW – Philippines-Russia security cooperation gains more traction with the entry into force of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the National Security Council (NSC) of the Philippines and the Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF) on 28 December 2017. The MOU was signed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon and Mr. Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the SCRF, on 23 May 2017 in Zavidovo, Tver Oblast, during the Official Visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Russia.

“The Philippine Embassy welcomes this development. The NSC and SCRF hold a privileged status in the two countries’ respective bureaucracies, particularly in the sphere of foreign and security policy formulation. The conclusion of this agreement signals the strong interest of the Philippines and Russia to bring politico-security relations to an even higher level,” Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta said.

The MOU provides for cooperation against terrorism, drug trafficking and other transnational crimes; consultations on strategic and regional issues; promotion of military contacts; and cooperation in other areas of mutual interest.

Ambassador Sorreta stressed that cooperating with Russia through, for instance, information- and intelligence-sharing, will boost the country’s capability to address various security challenges. “The Philippine Embassy in Moscow looks forward to assisting the NSC and other relevant agencies in the implementation of this agreement,” he added.

Contacts between the NSC and SCRF have been regular even prior to the signing of this agreement. On 15-17 February 2017, Mr. Patrushev undertook an official visit to the Philippines, heading a high-level delegation composed of officials from the ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Justice as well as from the Armed Forces and Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. The Russian delegation held consultations in Davao City with NSA Esperon, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, and other high-ranking Philippine officials.

The two sides exchanged views on the prospects for PH-Russia security and military-technical cooperation, threats and challenges to regional security, and cooperation in the fight against crime. Mr. Patrushev also paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on 16 February 2017, also in Davao.

During the visit, Mr. Patrushev invited the Philippines to join in Russia’s International Counter-Terrorism Database. He also conveyed the readiness of the Federal Protective Service of Russia to train members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG). Said capacity-building activity immediately took place on 27 February-11 March 2017 in Moscow. A twenty-one-man delegation from PSG underwent a VIP Protection Training Program.

The NSC likewise participates in the annual International Meeting of High-Ranking Officials Responsible for Security Matters organized by the SCRF, where a bilateral meeting between officials of the two agencies is usually arranged. END

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte stresses the Philippines’ keen interest to deepen security cooperation with Russia during the courtesy call of Mr. Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, on 16 February 2017 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City. Also in the photo from the Philippine side are NSA Hermogenes C. Esperon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, and Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana. (Photo courtesy of the National Security Council)