Manila Bulletin : Marcos on potential Putin state visit to PH: 'Why not?'

27 March 2022

By Ellson Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

A Vladimir Putin state visit to the Philippines may be in the offing if former senator Bongbong Marcos becomes the country’s next president.

In his guesting on The Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential Interview on Saturday, March 26, the UniTeam presidential bet was asked if he would honor President Duterte’s previous invitation to Russian President Putin for a state visit to the Philippines.

“Well, certainly. Why not? We have diplomatic relations in Moscow. We should continue to honor that agreement that we have with Russia and we must continue to again, cultivate relationships that are beneficial to then country,” Marcos said.

A state visit is a big deal in terms of both optics and meaning. According to Wikipedia, a state visit—defined as a formal visit by a head of state to a foreign country at the invitation of the head of state of the foreign country–is considered the highest expression of friendly bilateral relations between two sovereign states.

Marcos further qualified his answer: “As long as we make our position very clear that self-determination is an important principle as far as the Philippinesis concerned and in that context, then we can still speak on many other subjects with Russia.”

Asked if he would, in effect, be “telegraphing something to the United States of America by welcoming Putin in a state visit”, Marcos essentially said no.

“It need not be Russia or Vladimir Putin. Any country that would like to come and visit and we would feel that there is something beneficial to be gained by furthering, strengthening relations with our two countries is something that we should always be open,” explained the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer.

Russia has been in the news the past few weeks because of its recent invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Marcos said he hopes a peace agreement would get brokered soon between the two countries.