Russian ships dock in Manila for four-day goodwill visit

Posted on January 31, 2012

THREE Russian ships which took part in combating piracy in Somalia set anchor in Manila for a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines.

Large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, rescue tug Fotiy Krylov, and large sea tanker Boris Butoma from the Russian Navy will be docked at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila starting today until Friday, Feb. 3.

The Udaloy-class destroyer Admiral Panteleyev was deployed in 2009 to subdue piracy off the Somalia coast, east of Africa.

In April 2009, it apprehended a vessel, 15 miles from the Somalia shore holding 29 pirates on board.

It was believed the same group of pirates was responsible for two unsuccessful attempts to seize an oil tanker NS Commander en route to Singapore under the Liberian flag.

It also prevented the occupation of another oil tanker bearing the Antigua and Barbuda flag in the eastern Gulf of Aden, the entry point to the Red Sea.

“[The] visit of the Russian ships this year is a significant event, which reflects the willingness of the two states to continue joint response to modern challenges and threats which include international terrorism, piracy and transnational crime,” it said in an advertorial published last Monday.

This was echoed by Defense spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul G. Galvez who told BusinessWorld in a phone interview that “it is a confidence-boosting measure and furtherance of goodwill relations with other countries.”

Politicians and military representatives are set to view the ships while moored in the Philippine harbor.

Manila is the first stop of the ships’ goodwill visit, according to Russian Embassy Attache Alexey Illyuviev after passing through the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, Indian Ocean to the Pacific.

The last Russian military ship to dock in Manila was the Moskva in early 2011. -- Mariae Francesca C. Ramos