MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte had a fruitful last working day in Russia, spending it with the Filipino community in the country, his spokesman said on Sunday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the final day of the President's official visit to Russia was "special and significant," as he received an honorary degree from a Russian university, and met with Filipinos in Russia.
"First, it was the first time for the Filipino Chief Executive to receive and accept an honorary degree, and it even came from one of the leading Russian universities; and Second, it was a welcome opportunity for PRRD to touch base and bond with the members of the Filipino community in Russia who came from various parts of the country just to have a glimpse of the President," Panelo said in a statement late Sunday.
Duterte received an honorary doctorate degree diploma from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Saturday.
He also held a brief lecture there, where he talked about the Philippines' foreign policy.
"The President stressed that he continues to chart an independent foreign policy course, which promotes respectful friendships and partnerships, as well as meaningful cooperation, and which enhances the interests of the Philippines," Panelo said.
Duterte then spent time with the Filipinos in Russia.
"President Duterte likewise took the occasion to urge the Filipinos in Russia to continue with their honest and hard work as they represent the face of the Philippines and the Filipino people as he thanked them for their sacrifices for working away from their families, loved ones and home country," Panelo said.
Duterte returned to the country Sunday afternoon from a 5-day official visit to Russia.