President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends,
I am very pleased to meet you and to greet you here.
Mr President, elections in your country took place on May 9, which is one of the most important holidays in Russia – Victory Day, a holiday that commemorates the victory over Nazism in the Great Patriotic War. And it is a victory day for you too, so I would like to congratulate you personally once again.
This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries. From the historical viewpoint, this is a very short period, but we have managed to achieve a great deal to develop a comprehensive partnership and build up trust between our countries.
I am very happy to have this opportunity to talk with you and your colleagues about the developing our bilateral relations.
President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte: I have been looking forward to this moment, to meeting you, Mr President, not only because you represent a great country but because of your leadership too.
We have been longing to be a part also of this type of business. We have been longing to be a part of Europe, especially in commerce and trade all over the world. But there was one thing that really stood before us, and that was the result of the Cold War.
Historically we identified ourselves with the Western world. It was good until it lasted and, of late I see a lot of these Western nations bullying small nations. And not only that. They are into so much hypocrisy. They seem to start war but are afraid to go to war. That is what’s wrong with America and the others. We have witnessed war in so many places: in Vietnam, Afghanistan and in Iraq. And what seemed to be the reason was the weapons of mass destruction, and there were none.
They insist if you are allied with them that they follow you: they go to the Korean War, nothing happened, they got defeated, they also got soldiers, Filipino soldiers both in Iraq and Vietnam and nothing happened. Then they went on an expedition in Iraq on an excuse of weapons of mass destruction and there were none.
They forced my country to contribute military forces. And then one soldier, no, one Filipino worker in the Middle East was captured by the groups there, it threatened to bury the Filipino unless we got out of the war against an individualist at that time. And because it was of national interest and because the country was really… we were overborne thinking of how to solve the problem. The condition was that if we withdraw the forces then they would spare the life of the Filipino worker. And we decided to withdraw.