ABS-CBN News : Putin, more world leaders congratulate poll frontrunner Marcos Jr

By Anjo Bagaoisan | ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Philippine presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Russian foreign ministry said.

In a statement, the Russian president highlighted the “traditionally friendly” relations between the 2 countries and expressed his desire for its growth.

"I hope that your efforts as head of state will facilitate further development of the fruitful cooperation between Russia and the Philippines in various areas," Putin wrote to Marcos.

"This meets in full the interests of our nations and is in line with the endeavors to strengthen security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region."

Russian-Philippine ties became closer during the administration of outgoing Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, who pivoted foreign policy toward friendlier relations with Russia and China.

Leaders of other Asia-Pacific countries traditionally seen as Philippine allies also sent their greetings to Marcos Jr.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio issued a congratulatory letter to Marcos Jr. on Friday, the Japanese embassy in Manila said.

Kishida wrote that he was determined to further promote cooperation as "strategic partners" in various areas to realize a "free and open Indo-Pacific".

Japanese foreign minister Hayashi Yoshimasa also extended his greetings to vice-presidential frontunner Sara Duterte, noting the history of people-to-people exchanges of the 2 countries in Davao City.

Australian premier Scott Morrison tweeted on Friday his congratulations for Marcos, saying he wants to continue advancing the friendship between Australia and the Philippines, now over 75 years old.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines signaled on Friday its readiness to work closely with the incoming administration to strengthen the countries’ friendly historic ties and deepen existing partnerships in various fields such as food security, innovation and technology, tourism, and defense.

For the United Kingdom, foreign secretary Liz Truss said Friday she looked forward to working with the Marcos government in strengthening defense and security ties, boosting trade and investment, and to also promote freedom and openness in the region.

The European Union on Thursday greeted Filipinos along with Marcos Jr. and the other candidates for the conduct of the elections.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Commission vice president and EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a tweet the EU looks forward to working with the new administration to "advance our relations and EU-ASEAN ties".

United States Pres. Joe Biden already called Marcos Jr. via phone on Thursday to personally congratulate him and express his anticipation of expanding the 2 nations’ ties, including in addressing COVID-19, the climate crisis, and "respect for human rights".

Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, sent a congratulatory note to Marcos via the Chinese ambassador to Manila, hoping for stronger relations and a focus on development.

Marcos Jr. said on Thursday he was grateful to the world leaders who sent their congratulations, adding he also looked forward to working with the international community as president.

His spokesman added in an interview that foreign policy under Marcos’s administration would not be "exclusive" to any country and would prioritize the interest of Filipinos.