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World | National

PH, Russia strengthen ties, move closer towards pact on consular assistance

?Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos D. Sorreta (left) and Director for Consular Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Evgeny S. Ivanov after their meeting on March 09. Photo from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Russia have strengthened their ties as officials of the two countries agreed to fast-track their efforts in finalizing a draft agreement that would contribute to the protection of the rights and welfare of Filipinos in Russia as well as Russian nationals in the Philippines.

In a news release issued Monday, Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos D. Sorreta said the two countries “are one step closer to forging.” He made the statement after Sorreta recently met with Mr. Evgeny S. Ivanov, Director of the Consular Services Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This agreement would reinforce our embassy’s ability to help Filipinos in need of assistance here in Russia. With increased protection, it is our hope that people-to-people exchanges will also be enhanced, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, tourism, education and culture,” Sorreta said.

Sorreta said he was informed by Ivanov that discussions within the Russian government on the agreement are going well and that Russia “will be formally responding with its own version shortly.”

Both sides agreed that the agreement must expand on existing international conventions on consular relations and will serve as a comprehensive document covering all aspects of consular relations, according to Sorreta.

The Philippine Embassy in Moscow estimates that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Filipinos living in Russia while as many as 40,000 Russians visit the Philippines every year.