MANILA- Aside from meeting his "favorite hero," Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rodrigo Duterte is also expected to speak at a forum of a prominent think tank when he flies to Moscow next week.
Duterte will make his second visit to Russia, particularly the cities of Sochi and Moscow, on Oct. 1 to 5 upon the invitation of Putin, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.
Duterte will hold a bilateral meeting with Putin, their fourth since their first encounter in November 2016 on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Peru.
"[T]hey will discuss the state of our bilateral relations and how both sides can further enhance and expand our cooperation in various areas. They will also exchange views on regional and global developments and other issues," Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Amelita Aquino told reporters at Malacañang.
Aquino said bilateral agreements that would be signed during Duterte's visit to Russia cover the areas of culture, health, and basic research. She, however, refused to detail the agreements.
Duterte will also join other leaders in the forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, where he is expected to deliver a speech on the theme “The World Order Seen From the East."
This marks the first time that a Philippine president has been invited to speak at the forum of the Russian think tank closely associated with Putin.
"He (Duterte) is expected to give his perspective or vision of the world order as it emerging right now and how this relates to Philippine foreign policy," Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Eric Borje said.
LECTURE, MEETING WITH FILIPINOS
Aside from his speech at the Valdai forum, President Duterte is also expected to give a "brief lecture" at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
"It's going to be a more bilateral take on relations because he's going to address the academe," Borje said.
The Moscow State Institute of International Relations is ran by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is one of the top universities in the said country for international, political, legal, and economic studies.
Duterte is also scheduled to meet with the 7,000-strong Filipino community in Russia before he flies back to the Philippines.
Duterte first visited Russia in May 2017 but had to cut his supposed weeklong stay after Islamic State-inspired local terror group Maute attacked parts of Marawi City.