MANILA, Philippines (HPD) — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday endorsed his predecessor’s decision to cancel a deal to purchase 16 Russian heavy-lift military helicopters, announcing that his government has “secured a alternative to the United States.
Speaking at a press conference, Marcos Jr. specified that the Philippine government will negotiate to recover part of the initial payment it made to the Russian aircraft manufacturer.
It is the first time that the Philippine president, who took office in June, has publicly commented on the sensitive issue involving Russia. His predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, signed a deal to buy Russian Mi-17 helicopters, but decided to cancel the contract before he finished his term for fear of possible Western sanctions.
“I think that the previous government had already determined that this agreement will not be carried out, it will not continue,” Marcos Jr. said when asked to comment on a call by the Russian ambassador in Manila for the Philippine government to respect the terms of the deal. purchase of helicopters
“We have secured an alternative supply from the United States,” the president added. Without elaborating, he said that the US aircraft the Philippines will order will be manufactured in Poland.
Moscow’s ambassador to Manila, Marat Pavlov, told reporters on Wednesday night that the Philippine government had not officially notified Russia of its decision to cancel the pact and that a Russian company had already started manufacturing the Mi-17 helicopters. after the Philippines made an initial payment.