After thanking China, US, Duterte awaits Russia's assistance

China provided 3,000 assault rifles worth USD 7.4 million to Philippines government.

Duterte declares martial law in southern Philippines
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 23, 2017. Reuters

After repeatedly thanking China and the US for taking lead roles in helping the Philippine government in the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he is now waiting for Russia's aid after the country promised assistance.

Duterte said he welcomes Russia's commitment to provide any form of assistance to fight ISIS-inspired militant groups in Mindanao, a region which is under Martial Law. Mindanao has 28 provinces and 32 cities and a population of 22 million people where mostly impoverished population.

Speaking before expats in Davao City, Duterte said that the Philippines will stick with the 66-year-old defense treaty that it forged with US in 1951 in Washington. The president made these announcement weeks after he repeatedly warned US that he was considering of ending their joint military exercises.

Not only has this, since assuming the presidency, Duterte has been continuously criticising US for meddling too much in the internal affairs of the Philippines.

The President also reminded the US not to interfere in the way he governs the country, particularly his campaign against illegal drugs that claimed the lives of 4,000 drug suspects.

Duterte earlier visited Russian Leader Vladimir Putin and requested for precision-guided missiles which he intended to use for rising terror groups in the Southern Philippines. Putin responded that he will look into Duterte's request.

On the other hand, China also provided 3,000 assault rifles worth USD 7.4 million to Philippines government. The turnover was held at the Philippine Airforce Base in Pampanga province.

In a related development, India also extended USD 500,000 cash assistance to help Marawi rehabilitate and reconstruct. Duterte earlier announced that his foreign policy will prioritise building diplomatic economic and military relationship with Asian neighbours first and then rest of the world.