PH Navy head meets with Russian counterpart

By Priam Nepomuceno

August 5, 2018, 9:28 am

MANILA -- In line with ongoing efforts to interact more with its foreign naval counterparts, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, met with Russian Navy head Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Korolev during the Russia Navy Day celebration last July 29.

Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata, in a statement Saturday, said the event took place at Saint Petersburg, Russia where Empedrad represented the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the celebration.

"It was during this historic meeting that a draft MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for deepening security cooperation between the two navies was discussed. The Chief of Russian navy assured his commitment to support the upgrade program of the PN in terms of training, maintenance and sustainment of future acquisition particularly the submarine acquisition project of the PN. He also mentioned about conduct of joint HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) training and regular visits of ships," he added.

Korolev also expressed his appreciation for the upcoming visit of a PN ship in Vladivostok, Russia.

In June, three Russian warships made a port visit in Manila.

Zata said the PN delegation was given the opportunity to visit Admiralty Shipyard, the Russian Navy's premier naval shipyard where its submarines are built.

The Main Naval Parade at Saint Petersburg is a commemoration of over three centuries of Russia’s rich history.

Celebrated on the last Sunday of July, this is the day where the Russian Federation honors members of the Russian Navy and showcase its strength and capabilities.

To mark this year's Navy Day parade, Russian President and Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Putin attended the activity.

The Commander of the China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy, Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong is also among the Navy Chiefs who attended and was met by Empedrad during the event.

The 14 chiefs and representatives of the invited navies were also tendered with a formal dinner by the head of the Russian Navy as the final event for the visiting delegations.

All heads of delegations agreed that the only way to achieve peace at sea is through cooperations among navies of the world. The official visit underscores the navy’s diplomacy efforts for increased interaction among other navies.

"These engagements are building blocks for closer cooperation in areas of mutual concern such as combating terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes, the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response," Zata said. (PNA)