Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday backed his predecessor’s decision to cancel a deal to acquire 16 Russian military heavy-lift helicopters, announcing that his government had “secured an alternative supply from the United States”. “
Speaking at a press conference, Marcos Jr. said the Philippine government would negotiate to recover part of the initial payment 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 the end of his term, fearing possible Western sanctions.
“I think the previous government had already determined that this agreement would not hold, it would not continue,” Marcos Jr. said in commenting on a call by the Russian ambassador in Manila to the Philippine government to abide by the conditions. Said. Agreement. Purchase of helicopter
“We have secured an alternative supply from the United States,” the president said. Without elaborating, he said the US planes to be ordered by the Philippines would be manufactured in Poland.
Moscow’s ambassador to Manila, Marat Pavlov, told reporters late Wednesday that the Philippine government had not officially informed Russia of its decision to cancel the deal and that a Russian company had already manufactured the Mi-17 helicopters. started. ,