Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Duterte set to hold teleconference with Putin

PTRSIDENT RODRIGO Duterte is scheduled to have a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement but refused to spill additional details about the scheduled phone call.

In a virtual presser, Roque explained that Duterte’s schedule is “classified as secret.”

“I can confirm, may usapan po sa telepono ang ating Presidente at ang Presidente ng Russia. So ‘yun lang po ang aking masasabi. I cannot even say kung kailan po (I can confirm that President [Duterte] and Russian President [Putin] will have a phone call. That’s all I can say. I cannot even say when will it happen),” he said.

Roque also did not mention the possible topics that would be discussed by Duterte and Putin.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said Duterte is scheduled to discuss with Putin the efforts to further bolster cooperation between the Philippines and Russia in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Duterte and Putin are also expected to tackle efforts to boost the Covid-19 vaccine supply, Go said.

The scheduled phone call will happen after Covid-19 vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez announced Monday that around 20,000 of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines will be used in the vaccination dry-run.

Galvez, in a statement, said Sputnik V vaccines will be administered in a separate manner per dose, as the first dose contains Adenovirus-26 particles while the second dose has Adenovirus-5.

About 500,000 vials of the Sputnik V vaccine are expected to be delivered to the country this month.

In December last year, Duterte invited Putin to visit the Philippines this year “as soon as circumstances allow.”

Duterte already made two official visits to Russia in 2017 and 2019. (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)



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