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Philippines’ Duterte Open to Joint Naval Drills With Russia

  • Move follows decision last year to reduce exercises with U.S.
  • Russian ships could exacerbate tensions in South China Sea
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The Popular President Hating on Obama, UN, and the Pope

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will consider joint naval exercises with Russia, his spokesman said Thursday, months after he decided to reduce military drills with the U.S.

At a briefing in the presidential palace, spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte saw this week’s visit by two Russian warships to Manila would enhance friendship between the navies. Duterte, who in November approved recommendations to reduce and refocus joint naval exercises with U.S., is scheduled to visit one of the ships on Friday.