Philippines–Russia relations

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Philippines–Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Philippines and Russia



Philippines–Russia relations is the bilateral relationship between Russia and the Philippines.

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.[1] 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.[2] Russia has an embassy in Manila. The Philippines has an embassy in Moscow, and two honorary consulates (in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok).


Russia had been interested in 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.[3]

Under Russian Emperor Alexander I, Russia's first diplomatic mission in Southeast Asia, specifically in Manila, was established

In 1813, Russian Emperor Alexander I supported a plan created by Peter Dobell on trade and development with Southeast Asian states. Dobell was an Irish-born American businessman who resided 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 citizen and took the name Petr Vasilievich Dobel and was appointed as the Consul General in the Philippines.[3]

Establishing a formal Russian diplomatic mission was not easy as hoped because Spain's colonial government refused to recognize the Russian mission in Manila. However, a compromise was reached with Petr Valsilievich Dobel being allowed to stay and act in Manila as an unofficial representative of Russia in the Philippines.[3]

The Consulate General began operations at the end of the 19th century, but it was not run by the Russians but rather by mostly French merchants, also known as "freelance consuls". This type of Consulate operations continued until 1917.[3]

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.[3]

The diplomatic ties of the Philippines and the Soviet Union was reinitiated by President Ferdinand Marcos' Executive Secretary Alejandro Melchor, Jr. and his then Aide-de-camp Major Jose T. Almonte through the help of Professor Ajit Singh Rye of the Institute of Asian Studies in the University of the Philippines.[4]

It was through Professor Rye that Secretary Melchor and Major Almonte were able to pave way for an endorsement to Indira Gandhi for a dialogue with Moscow. At the time, the Philippines had been considered the United States' strongest ally in Southeast Asia and a reliable partner during the Cold War. However, President Marcos' administration believed that the United States was going to lose in Vietnam, and thus saw the need to establish ties with the "enemy."[4]

With one visit to New Delhi in 1975, Major Almonte met with the Ambassador of the USSR, which then led to a flight by Secretary Melchor and Major Almonte to the Kremlin where they were received as state guests.[4] This meeting led to the creation of 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.

In 1988-89, President Corazon Aquino met President Mikhail Gorbachev together with President Ronald Reagan during the peace talks between the United States and the Soviet Union.

When the dissolution of the Soviet Union was formalized on December 26, 1991, the Philippines formally recognized the Russian Federation, the Soviet state's successor, on December 28, 1991.[3]

Other economic relations[edit]

Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in St. Petersburg for the 2009 International Economic Forum.

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.[5]

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.[6]

Also, Russia is interested to sell Surface-to-Air missile system to the Philippines. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Philippines, Russia mark 30 years of diplomatic ties, Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, June 5, 2006, archived from the original ( – SCHOLAR SEARCH) on 2008-03-21, retrieved 2008-03-31 [dead link]
  2. ^ Secretary Romulo welcomes Russian ambassador-designate, Government of the Philippines; Department of Foreign Affairs, 23 February 2007, retrieved 2008-04-27 [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ a b c The unseen Indian hand in Manila's Moscow diplomacy, Nerve; 21 August 2006
  5. ^ "Russia Considers Building Oil Refinery, Storage in Philippines — Ambassador". Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  6. ^ Notice To Prospective Employers Of Filipino Household Workers, Embassy of the Philippines in the Russian federation, retrieved 2008-10-25 [dead link]
  7. ^

External links[edit]

Diplomatic missions[edit]