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Philippine President Duterte to visit Japan ahead of key regional summits

27 October 2017

Russian Federation handed over army trucks and thousands of assault rifles to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday as the two nations celebrated their growing military ties.

Russia's military products donation includes 20 trucks, 5,000 units of AK-74M Kalashnikov assault rifle, one million units of 1943-type cartridges with steel core bullets, and 5,000 units of steel helmets.

Duterte's often profanity-laden tirades against the United States have become his trademark during his year-old presidency, and he has chided Washington for treating his country "like a dog", despite the longstanding US assistance.

Earlier this month, Lorenzana said the military equipment from Russian Federation would be used to fight terrorism.

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Spokespeople for the Department of National Defence of the Philippines said that Moscow's gesture makes it possible to deepen the relationship between the two countries. In the first place, officials added, the Russian weapons would be used in the fight against terrorism.

The ranger unit conducting the operation said the shot was sacked from a heavier weapon mounted on an armored vehicle.

The delivery of weapons occurred the day after the governments of Russian Federation and the Philippines signed an agreement on military-technical cooperation between the two countries. The agreement was inked on the sidelines of a meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their dialogue partners in Clark, Pampanga.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters on Tuesday about the receipt of heavy equipment from China to help rebuild Marawi, and also noted the receipt of rifles and ammunition from Beijing.

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The military on Monday finally declared an end to a five-month battle in the southern city of Marawi where troops struggled to flush out militants loyal to the Daesh terrorist group in the nation's longest urban warfare.

Duterte has sought to veer away from the United States and bolster ties with Russian Federation and China. More than 100 people were killed in hostilities. On October 23, Philippine authorities announced victory over the terrorists.

Lorenzana said the Philippines is open to holding joint military drills with Russian Federation.

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Philippine President Duterte to visit Japan ahead of key regional summits