PH seeks diplomatic dialogue with Russia after scrapped multi-billion peso chopper deal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10)— The Philippine government will be pushing for a "diplomatic dialogue" with Russia following the decision to terminate a multi-billion peso helicopter procurement deal with Moscow, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Wednesday.

"We are [p]reparing to initiate a diplomatic dialogue with the Russian side regarding matters arising from the project's cancellation," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement, noting that authorities are in the process of formalizing the contract's termination.

Former Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier confirmed that the past administration decided to drop the agreement to purchase military helicopters from Russia worth ₱12.7 billion, citing fear of sanctions from the United States.

Under a 2017 federal law, the U.S. government can impose sanctions on entities with significant defense or intelligence transactions with Russia.

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The agency explained that the project's cancellation was prompted by "changes in priorities necessitated by global political developments."

"The [committee] will undertake the appropriate processes in the contract termination and will exercise due diligence in the bilateral dialogue that will be conducted in connection with the cancellation of the project," it noted. "This includes the issue on the down payment."