Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is keeping with his vow to diversify his nation’s ties away from the United States and towards China and Russia, welcomed five Russian ships delivering military equipment to the Filipino government.

On Friday three Russian anti-submarine ships docked in Manilla ahead of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit and two cargo ships were slated to dock in Subic Bay on Saturday to deliver military equipment.

Rear Admiral E. Mikhailov, the task force commander, said the three anti-submarine ships, one landing ship and a rescue tug docked in Manila on Friday in time for the upcoming visit of Russia’s top defense official.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will be joining next week’s meeting of 10 Southeast Asian defense ministers with counterparts from eight countries including the U.S., Russia and China.”

The Russians plan on donating five thousand rifles to the Filipino military that are fighting a bloody insurgency against Islamic terrorists. They just freed the city of Marawi after protracted fighting.

“I am assuring you that we will do our best to make this port call a significant contribution to the strengthening of friendly ties and cooperation between our two nations in the interest of security and stability in the region,” Russian Rear Admiral E. Mikhailov said.

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