Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not commit troops to fight in Ukraine if America were to engage in the conflict.
America and the Philippines have a mutual defence treaty which commits both nations to support each other if either country were attacked by an external party.
“I won’t commit. If the Americans engage in a war and they’re here, why will I send my soldiers? It’s not our battle to fight,” said Duterte in a speech on Thursday.
“If the violence spills over and the war somehow gets here, that will be very difficult. For as long as I’m President, I won’t send a single soldier of mine to go to war,” he added.
After taking office in mid-2016, Duterte has taken steps to strengthen relations with Moscow, while criticising U.S. security policies.
Duterte has met Russian President Vladimir Putin twice in Moscow. In Thursday’s speech he described Mr Putin as a “personal friend” and has in the past reportedly described the Russian leader as his “idol”.