MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to speak before a prominent Russian think tank forum and give a "lecture" to budding Russian diplomats during his upcoming October 1 to 5 visit to the northern country.
Duterte will be among around 5 leaders who will give a speech at the plenary session of the Valdai Forum on October 3, said Philippine Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Amelita Aquino on Friday, September 27.
The Valdai Discussion Club, which holds the annual forum, is described by Aquino as "one of the most prominent think tanks and international discussion clubs in Russia." The forum will be held in Sochi.
The forum gathers together Russian government officials, international experts and academe, and policy-makers to discuss global issues. The theme for this year's forum is "World Order Seen from the East."
Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said Duterte's speech at the forum would likely be about "his perspective or vision of the world order" and his determination to pursue an "independent foreign policy."
Back in 2016, Duterte had declared he would be the "first to join" a "new order" dominated by Russia and China, preferring this to a world order dominated by the United States.
'Lecture' before budding Russian diplomats
On October 5, Duterte's last day in Russia, he is scheduled to give a "lecture" at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, training ground for Russia's diplomats.
This was among the events that had been organized for his last visit to Russia, in May 2017, which had been cut short because of the Marawi siege.
Borje said it's possible Duterte would take questions from his audience if time permits. October 5 is set to be a busy day as Duterte will also be meeting with members of the Filipino community in Russia
Meeting with Putin
Duterte and Putin are set to hold a bilateral meeting during the October visit, their 4th such meeting so far, said Aquino. (READ: Duterte on Putin: We've become fast friends)
Some agreements are expected to be signed during their meeting, including deals on health, culture, and basic research. Aquino could not go into detail about these agreements. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.