What Happened: Russia is seeking to establish an arms manufacturing company in the Philippines, Xinhua reported Oct. 22, citing Moscow's ambassador to Manila.
Why It Matters: Although the deal isn't finalized yet, it would underscore the Philippines' strategy of diversifying its supply of arms and weapons beyond the United States after Washington tied its arms sales to Manila to human rights issues. However, the Philippines and Russia's increased engagement on defense issues could put Manila in the crosshairs of U.S. sanctions.
Background: The Philippines and Russia signed several business and investment deals during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Russia in early October. Manila is also considering inviting Russian energy firms to conduct exploration operations in the South China Sea.