Two Russian Navy vessels, including a guided-missile cruiser, arrived in Manila for a four-day goodwill visit, in line with the Duterte administration’s plan to beef up defense cooperation with Russia.
Varyag, a 600-foot Slava class guided missile cruiser, was guided by a tugboat as it docked at Pier 15 of South Harbor. Varyag arrived in Manila, along with sea tanker Pechenga, also part of Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Launched in July 1983 and commissioner in October 1989, Varyag is currently commanded by Capt. Alexsei U. Ulyanenko.
In January, Russia had already sent two other warships — anti-submarine vessel Admiral Tributs and sea tanker Boris Butoma — to Manila for the first official navy-to-navy contact.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in February, discussed security cooperation between the Philippines and Russia during a visit from a delegation from Moscow, a move described by the Palace as part of the Duterte administration’s shift toward an independent foreign policy.