MANILA — Russia's incoming envoy to Manila discussed the possible distribution of his country's COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines in a meeting recently with his Filipino counterpart, the Philippine Embassy in Russia said.
Incoming Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov met with Manila's envoy to Moscow Carlos Sorreta last Oct. 20 ahead of his actual deployment.
Pavlov is replacing Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev, who served the post for more than 5 years.
“[Pavlov and Sorreta] discussed possible cooperation activities including the updating and signing of important agreements, future high-level visits, status of possible deployment of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines,” the Philippine embassy said in statement.
They tackled "defense and security cooperation, and possible projects between local government units of both countries" as well.
Russia's Sputnik V, which is among the vaccines being developed globally against the new coronavirus, is currently being considered for trial use in the Philippines.
Sorreta "expressed hope" that Pavlov would build on the momentum initiated by Khovaev who is being credited for "fostering, developing, and strengthening relations" between the two countries.
Khovaev was conferred the Order of Sikatuna award by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month ahead of his departure from the country.
Duterte had forged closer relations with Russia and China in line with his administration's independent foreign policy. Under him, the Philippines sought to be less dependent on its traditional ally, the United States, which had been critical of his human rights record.