There are right now five Russian warships anchored in Philippines ports in anticipation of the visit by the Russian defense minister to the country. And according to Philippines’ leader Duterte in their cargo bays are 5,000 automatic rifles — a gift for the country’s police force.
Duterte originally sought these weapons from the US but the sale was blocked, causing the Philippines’ president to denounce Americans as “fools” and “monkeys”.
Actually technically what happened was that State Department halted the sale amid virtue signaling against the Philippines’ drug war in the US Senate at which point Duterte indignantly pulled out.
It is possible that was the outcome Duterte secretly hoped for when he ordered the weapons in the US in the first place. He is an anti-American leftist presiding over one of the most US-friendly countries in the world. Washington’s insults against Manila work in his favor — especially among the proud and sensitive Filipinos.
Contrast this with Russian diplomacy. Not only are they happy to treat Duterte’s drug war as an internal Philippine matter, which it is, but apparently they seized on American blunder to draw a huge contrast between themselves and the Americans by stepping in and then making the rifles a gift.
Even with Duterte the Philippines remains firmly in US orbit (Russia has neither the means nor the interest to try and contest that — though China might eventually), but it certainly shows how much more capable and coherent is Russian diplomacy compared to the confusing and self-contradiction hodgepodge from numerous cooks in the imperial capital of Washington, DC.