1 MIN READOct 8, 2019 | 18:23 GMT
What Happened: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly invited Russian oil giant Rosneft to conduct oil exploration operations in the South China Sea during a visit to Moscow last week, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 8.
Why It Matters: Duterte has long attempted to maintain a diplomatic balancing act between China and the United States by diversifying Manila’s political and economic ties and courting third countries, such as Japan and Russia. If confirmed, encouraging Russian oil exploration in the South China Sea would likely draw criticism from Beijing, potentially prompting it to double down on its military presence in the disputed waters.
Background: Duterte visited Russia for a five-day trip during which the countries signed 10 business and investment deals.
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