Philippine ambassador to Moscow, Russia Ernesto V. Llamas, reported to the Department of foreign affairs that the Philippines and Russia observed 30 years of formal, diplomatic relations on June 2, 2006, through an exchange of top-level officials in the mass media and a recognition of initiatives in the field of politics, economics, culture and tourism. Llamas said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin exchanged official messages in the two countries' leading newspapers, The Philippine Star and Izvestia. As of 2007, the Russian ambassador to the Philippines is Vitaly Y. Vorobiev. Russia has an embassy in Manila. The Philippines has an embassy in Moscow, and two honorary consulates (in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok).
Russia found interest on developing ties with states in Southeast Asia as early as 19th century. The Russian Empire's interest in establishing relations with Southeast Asian countries stemmed from its need to ensure food and raw supply security in the Russian Far East as communication between the far eastern part of Russia and its European side is significantly difficult.
In 1813, Russian Emperor Alexander I supported a plan on trade and development with Southeast Asian states by a certain Peter Dobell. Dobell is an Irish-born American businessman who resides in Southeast Asia. He was the first to initiate the promotion of relations with the Russian Far East, particularly the Kamchatka peninsula region. Russia finally decided to establish its first diplomatic mission in Southeast Asia in 1817 - a Consulate General in Manila. Peter Dobell became a naturalized and took the name Petr Vasilievich Dobel and has been appointed as the Consul General in the Philippines.
Establishing a formal Russian diplomatic mission was not easy as Spain's colonial government refused to recognize the Russian mission in Manila. However a compromise was made, with Peter Dobel being allowed to stay and act in Manila as an unofficial representative of Russia in the Philippines.
The Consulate General has began operations by the end of the 19th century but it was not operated fully by the Russians but rather it was operated by mostly French merchants, also known as "freelance consuls", This status of relations continued until 1917.
The Russian Empire became the Soviet Union after the October Revolution and contacts between Soviet Russia and the Philippines were maintained through Comintern, Profintern and the Communist Party of the United States (The Philippines was then a colony of the United States). Due to the restrictive policy of the American colonial administration of the Philippines against communists, the relations between the Philippines and the Soviet Union gradually waned.
The diplomatic ties of the Philippines and the Soviet Union was reinitiated by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos' Executive Secretary Alejandro Melchor, Jr. and his then Aide-de-camp Maj. Jose T. Almonte through the help of Prof. Ajit Singh Rye of the Institute of Asian Studies in the University of the Philippines.
It was through Prof. Rye that Sec. Melchor and Maj. Almonte was able to pave way for an endorsement to Indira Gandhi for a dialogue with Moscow. This was the plan as the Philippines then was considered as the United States' strongest ally in Southeast Asia, and a reliable partner during the Cold War. However, the government of Pres. Marcos saw that the US was going to lose in Vietnam, and thus the need to establish ties with the "enemy."
With one visit to New Delhi in 1975, Maj. Almonte met with the Ambassador of the USSR, which no sooner led to a flight by Sec. Melchor and Maj. Almonte to the Kremlin where they were received as state guest. This led to the formal ties between the Philippines and the USSR in 1976.
In 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos with his wife Imelda Marcos met Yuri Andropov's Acting Chairman of the Presidium of the Soviet Union Vasily Kuznetsov during a conference meeting in Moscow.
Other economic relations
Russian Ambassador to the Philippines said on Tuesday, April 24, that Russia is laying the infrastructure to become a major oil supplier to Asian countries and is considering proposals to build an oil refinery and storage facilities in the Philippines to serve Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian countries have expressed interest in Russia's plans to become an important energy provider in the region and Moscow should carefully plan how it could assume that crucial role, Ambassador Vitaly Vorobiev told foreign correspondents.
Due to a sharp increase in the number of Filipino nationals being sought to work in private homes throughout Russia, the Philippine Government has deemed it necessary to impose new requirements on the direct hiring of Filipino housekeepers and nannies in Russia in order to secure their well-being through placement in qualified households as well as ensure the engagement of only competent staff.
- Philippines, Russia mark 30 years of diplomatic ties ([dead link] – Scholar search), Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, June 5, 2006, archived from the original on 2008-03-21, retrieved 2008-03-31
- Secretary Romulo welcomes Russian ambassador-designate, Government of the Philippines; Department of Foreign Affairs, 23 February 2007, retrieved 2008-04-27[dead link]
- The unseen Indian hand in Manila's Moscow diplomacy, Nerve; 21 August 2006
- "Russia Considers Building Oil Refinery, Storage in Philippines — Ambassador". Huliq.com. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Notice To Prospective Employers Of Filipino Household Workers, Embassy of the Philippines in the Russian federation, retrieved 2008-10-25[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Philippines–Russia relations|
- (Russian) Documents on the Philippines–Russia relationship at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- (English) (Russian) Embassy of Russia in Manila
- (English) (Russian) Embassy of the Philippines in Moscow