The Russian ambassador and military officers visit the shrine of the Philippines' national hero and demonstrate their martial arts skills to the public as part of their goodwill visit to Manila. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Russian marine officers visited the monument of the Philippines' national hero on Thursday (January 5) and demonstrated their skills in self-defense martial arts as part of their goodwill visit to Manila. Two Russian warships are on a four-day visit in Manila, the first official navy-to-navy contact between the two countries. The visit came less than a month after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sent his foreign and defence ministers to Moscow to explore an arms deal after a U.S. senator said he would block the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the country due to concerns over the rising death toll in a war on drugs. Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev said that he expects Duterte to pay an official visit to Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE PHILIPPINES, IGOR KHOVAEV, SAYING: "We expect His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte to pay an official visit to Russia. It will be a milestone in our bilateral relations. Of course now, the relevant preparations are in full swing." Russian marines paid respect to the monument of Philippines national hero Jose Rizal and performed combat stunts, which included techniques from the self-defense system Krav Maga and performing shooting manoeuvers in a central park in Manila. On Wednesday (January 4) Khovaev said Russia is ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons, including aircraft and submarines and aims to become a close friend of the traditional U.S. ally as it diversifies its foreign ties. Khovaev said Russia does not intend to replace the United States as a close ally of the Philippines but wants to be a "new reliable partner," offering weapons and military cooperation without any political conditions. The ambassador said he hopes the activities during the navy's visit will foster friendship and goodwill between Manila and Moscow.