President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said his second visit to Russia this week would be a showcase of his “agile” foreign policy that would allow Manila and Moscow to reap the benefits of a newfound partnership.

In a statement prior to his departure for Russia, Duterte said the partnership with Russia, which was “four decades in the making,” would be “robust and comprehensive,” and “one that is based on shared interests, pragmatism, and mutual trust and respect.”

“[Geopolitical] realities and global developments require that nations like ours should have an agile foreign policy. While it is true that we value our long-standing partners, we must also be open to engage new ones,” he said in his departure speech at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“For the longest time, we have placed key nations at the margins of our foreign policy, failing to fully explore the potentials of mutually beneficial cooperation,” he added.

Duterte said he would meet President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to “identify ways of further intensifying cooperation areas of security and defense, combatting terrorism and violent extremism, and addressing transnational crimes.”

He said Manila expected to sign key agreements, including in political cooperation, health, science and technology, and culture.

Duterte also said he would join Putin and other world leaders at the forum of the Valdai International Discussion Club, which will have the topic “The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order.”

“This will be an opportune occasion to articulate, to a key audience, our independent Philippine foreign policy – one that is based on respect for sovereignty and non-interference, the time-honored principles of international law. Apparently this most basic principle of a rule that governs the relations between nations have been forgotten by some idiots in some parts of the world,” he said.

Duterte is also scheduled to meet Filipino and Russian business leaders as well as academics and students of the Moscow Institute of International Relations University.

Duterte will meet Filipinos in Russia and will watch special cultural programs featuring the Bayanihan dance group and the Philippine Madrigal Singers. (