Below is the statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs on the re-election Russia’s Vladimir Putin:

The Philippines congratulated President Vladimir Putin for getting a fresh mandate to lead the Russian people following his victory in elections held on Sunday.

“President Duterte extends the warmest congratulations of the Filipino people to President Vladimir Putin on his re-election,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement issued shortly after arriving from Sydney where he attended the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

“As he resumes performance of his duties, President Duterte wishes President Putin more success in leading Russia to greater progress and in advancing the cause of peace and security in our region and in the larger international community,” Secretary Cayetano said.

The Secretary said President Duterte will continue to work with President Putin in further strengthening the reinvigorated relations between Manila and Moscow.

“We also look forward to working more closely together to strengthen ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations and to advance our common interests in multilateral fora including the United Nations,” Secretary Cayetano said.

President Putin won overwhelmingly in the 18 March elections that would allow him to lead Russia for another six years. The Central Election Commission announced that the incumbent president won 75.9 percent of the vote, handily winning over seven other candidates.

The elections were observed by two senior officials from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) who were among several foreign delegations invited to observe the polls.