"So Russia is ready to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines", reported VOA News.
Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of Russia's Pacific fleet, is leading a five-day visit of an anti-submarine vessel and a tanker to showcase what his country can offer the staunch American ally.
He said "the biggest problem now in the world is terrorism and piracy" and the exercises "will show you what we can do and we will see what you can do".
Drone to save civilians Yavne An Israeli tech developer is optimistic that after 15 years of development it will get its people-carrying drone on the market... I think he's visiting the Russian ship", he said.
He clarified that Moscow is not pushing Manila to end its decades- long ties with Washington, Russia's traditional rival.
"The visit of the warships is yet another sign of the potential for burgeoning Philippines-Russia defense cooperation, even though it is still early days". They questioned Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's move which seemed to cast away the Philippine-US relationship.
He also stressed the need for the Philippines to diversify its choice of foreign partners.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) clarified there would be no joint exercises with the Russian navy and that what was being readied was just a send-off ceremony dubbed as passing exercises or PASSEX.
The Duterte administration, for one, said the Philippines should stop its subservience to the United States, its former colonizer.
Khovaev also said Russian Federation was ready to supply the Philippines with "sophisticated weapons", including aircraft and submarines.
The visit is the third to the Philippines by the Russian navy, and was preceded by a trip to Moscow by Philippines foreign and defense ministers to explore the possibility of boosting military ties.
"Diversification of partners doesn't mean choosing between old and new but having good relations with many", he said.
As to specifics of what the Russians intend to take the relationship further are unclear.
This week's visit will include meetings between naval officials, as well as the opening of the ships to the public and Russian tours of historical places in Manila.
Official comments and developing bilateral relationship "indicate the importance of paying attention to a defense relationship where most developments would have hardly been fathomable even a year ago", he added. The country aims to foster stronger security in the region and its waters, including the South China Sea.
Last month, Duterte sent his foreign and defence ministers to Moscow to explore arms deal after a USA senator said he will block the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippines due to concerns with the rising death toll in a war on drugs. This will further reassure China, which is apprehensive about the USA military activities in the disputed territory.