THE United States on Thursday cautioned the Philippines against getting its first-ever submarines and other military supplies from Russia, saying this is sending a “statement” on the relationship between Manila and Washington.
Randall Schriver, US defense assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, issued the warning after meeting with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who will fly to Russia to meet with his counterpart there.
“I think they (Philippines) should think very carefully about that. If they would have to proceed with purchasing major Russian equipment, I don’ think that is a helpful thing to the alliance,” Schriver told reporters in a roundtable discussion at the US Embassy in Manila.
“Ultimately, I think we can be a better partner than the Russians can be to the Philippine people,” he said.
Last week, Lorenzana announced that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted the military to acquire its submarines from Russia, adding the Philippine Navy will make its first official port visit in Vladivostok City.
“You are investing not only platforms but making a statement about our relationship,” Schriver said. DEMPSEY REYES
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