Russia’s largest arms manufacturer has briefed the Philippine Embassy in Moscow on its different assault rifles amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that the nation’s police force could look to Russia and China for weapons suppliers.
A Department of Foreign Affairs media release on Tuesday said manufacturer Concern Kalashnikov showed how AK 47 assault rifles has changed and how its improved model “could match and exceed the specifications of its competitors.”
“While there are no definite plans yet to purchase Russian small arms, I believe this briefing can be very useful in any comprehensive assessment of how to address our country’s defense needs,” Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta said in the statement.
Sorreta said details of the briefing, held last November 3, will be reported to the DFA with a recommendation that it be shared with other government agencies.
“Any decision will have to be made by the concerned agencies as end users and also because they have the experience, expertise, and authority to make the necessary determinations,” Sorreta said.
Concern Kalashnikov, represented by Deputy CEO Arkadiy Privalov during the briefing, is the flagship of Russia’s small arms manufacturing sector. It manufactures assault and sniper rifles, guided artillery projectiles and a wide range of precision weapons. It produces 95 percent of the small arms in Russia and supplies more than 20 other countries
Sorreta said the embassy wanted to know if Russia “would support the Philippines’ own efforts to develop its small arms industry, as they have done in other countries that bought their weapons.”
He said they also discussed the possibility of government-to-government sales instead of going through middle men, which can result in inflation of prices.
Duterte said he is considering suppliers from other countries after the US state department said it would halt the sale of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police.
Duterte has been trading barbs with the US, especially after the latter raised concerns over the extrajudicial killings resulting from the administration’s war on drugs. JE