Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun talks with visiting President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, TASS reported.
The talks are being held in Moscow.
The Russian delegation includes Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov. Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin. The Philippine delegation includes Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Chramm Cayetano, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go.
The Philippines’ president arrived in Moscow on Monday. Before leaving for Russia, he told journalists his Moscow visit will center round issues of security and defense, as well as balance in trade relations between the two countries and possible agreements in the agricultural sector.
The Philippine leader had to curtail his visit to Russia over the situation in the southern province of Mindanao, where a state of martial law was imposed earlier on Tuesday. The province is a zone of armed confrontation between government troops and militants of a group linked with the terrorist organization Islamic States. Law enforcers have blocked 15 militants of the Maute group in an apartment in the city of Marawi, Mindanao. According to security services, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, Isnilon Hapilon, is among those blocked in the apartment. Both groups have sworn allegiance to Islamic State.