Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Western “bullying” and “hypocrisy” during his first meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and said when it came to alliances, the United States could not be trusted.
In talks with Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in Lima, Duterte held nothing back in his views about major powers like the United States, suggesting he is sticking to his guns on re-aligning foreign policy away from Washington, despite his warm words for incoming U.S. president, Donald Trump.
“Historically, I have been identified with the Western world. It was good until it lasted,” he told the Russian leader.
“And of late, I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that, they are into so much hypocrisy,” he said, according to a transcript of Saturday’s meeting provided by his office.
Putin congratulated Duterte on his May election win and said he had done a lot in a very short time to build trust and confidence between Russia and the Philippines.
Duterte responded with similar words and then chided Western powers, particularly the United States, for intervening in conflicts for their own national interest and cajoling others to side with them.
Duterte’s overtures to Russia are similar to those he made to China, until recently a bitter rival. He is now praising Beijing and tapping it for investment in a stunning about-face that has unnerved a region wary of a Chinese hegemony taking shape in Southeast Asia.
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