Duterte to receive honorary doctorate degree from Russian university

The event will happen during his four-day visit to Moscow, which begins from Monday.

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Rodrigo Duterte

Russia's Moscow State of Institute of International Relations will confer Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte an honorary doctorate degree on Wednesday, during his four-day visit to Moscow, starting Monday.

Duterte will receive the first honorary doctorate degree a month after he declined one offered by a state-run University of the Philippines after the proposal was marked with students' and militants' protest on Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs. His critics blamed his administration for the questionable deaths of 4,000 suspected drug users and traders most of which is tagged as extrajudicial killings committed by unknown men.

Duterte will also have an interactive session with MGIMO students and donate books. He is also expected to deliver a policy speech. "The President will share his ideas on how to achieve peace and security, especially in the Asia-Pacific region," said Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Cleofe Natividad, in a statement.

The event is taking place amidst improving diplomatic relations between Russia and the Philippines. Duterte earlier said that his administration would like to align with Russia and China.

The Moscow State of Institute of International Relations has been awarding or conferring honorary doctoral degrees to foreign politicians, experts and scholars who made significant contributions to the field of international relations and foreign policy.

Among those who received the honorary degrees are UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, former Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri and former Japan Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and former Japan prime minister Yoshiro Mori.

Prior to his visit to Russia, Duterte also said that his administration is interested in buying military weapons from Russia as the country, unlike US, does not have any conditions when selling their weapons.

Among the weapons that Duterte wanted are the Russian precision bombs and the leader wanted to use it against ISIS-linked terrorists in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan.

Duterte claimed that the bombs used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are not as accurate as those precision bombs used by Russia and in some cases the present bombs had cause casualty among civilian communities.