Manila, Sep 24 (EFE).- Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his country is in talks with Russia to buy fuel and other raw materials, as national interests take precedence over concerns about the Ukraine war.
“Now maybe we need to approach Russia, say that maybe they can loosen up and provide us with fuel,” Marcos said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg in New York, where he has gone to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
Marcos Jr., who won the presidential elections in May, revealed they were “close” to finalizing an agreement with Russia and other countries on this matter.
“The political side of it has been a little tricky, but nonetheless, the national interest comes first,” he said, when asked about the United States’ sanctions on Russia.
“We need to find those new sources of fuel. But that applies not only to fuel, it applies to things like feed, fertilizer, other inputs that are just critical for us,” he stressed.
The Philippine president’s statements came after a meeting with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, on the sidelines of the UN Assembly, as he sought to improve ties with Washington after his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, had opted to move closer to Beijing.
The Philippines, struggling against rising inflation, has raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage points this week, following a 75 basis point increase by the US Fed.
“We cannot allow it to reach to an extent that people simply cannot buy their food, simply cannot pay their electricity or water, all these basic things,” Marcos Jr. said. EFE