MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal on Monday paid a visit to the guided-missile cruiser Admiral Varyag, one of the three vessels of the Russian Pacific Detachment, currently on a goodwill visit to Manila.
The AFP chief was accompanied by Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad during the visit.
Madrigal was welcomed by Russian Ambassador to Manila Igor Khovaev and Russian Navy contingent head of mission, Rear Admiral Edward Mikhailov, and the commanding officers of the three ships.
Guided-missile cruiser Admiral Varyag is accompanied by the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev and large sea tanker Boris Botuma.
The Russian flotilla arrived at Pier 9, South Harbor, Manila last January 6 and will leave the country on January 11.
The goodwill visit is the Russian Navy’s first for this year and seventh since 2012.
The visit is also first for the Admiral Pantaleev and second for the Admiral Varyag and Boris Botuma, which both visited the country in May last year.
The goodwill visit of the Russian Navy aims to strengthen the relationship of the two navies, enhance the maritime cooperation, and ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and in the two countries through naval diplomacy.
The visits of the Russian Navy reciprocated that of BRP Tarlac’s historic port call to Vladivostok, Russia in October last year. (PNA) By Priam Nepomuceno