2 Russian Navy ships arrive in Manila for goodwill visit

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Russian Navy anti-submarine ship and a sea tanker have arrived in Manila for a goodwill visit amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s moves to bolster ties with Moscow, including a possible weapons deal.

Rear Adm. Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday that a wide range of equipment was brought to demonstrate to the Philippine military during the five-day visit.

It is the third such Russian visit to the Philippines but is the first under Duterte’s administration. It will include meetings between naval officials, as well as the opening of the ships to the public and Russian tours of historical places in Manila.

The Philippines has heavily depended on the U.S., its treaty ally, for weapons, ships and aircraft for years.