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Issues of interaction between Russia and the Republic of Korea in the Far East were discussed.

Yuri Trutnev at a meeting with the special envoy of the President of the Republic of Korea

The issues of interaction between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea in the Far East were discussed at the meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia – Plenipotentiary of the President of Russia in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev with U Yun Geun, the special envoy of the President of the Republic of Korea.

“Strengthening all-round ties with the Republic of Korea is one of Russia’s priorities in the Asia-Pacific region. We strive to fully realize the existing potential for cooperation. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we strive to maintain contacts through the governments of our countries, ”said Yuri Trutnev.

The Vice Premier thanked the Korean side for the attention to the development of relations with Russia. The Government of the Republic of Korea decided to send a special envoy of the President Moon Jae-in to convey a personal message from the leader of South Korea to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, as well as to discuss issues of practical cooperation. The decision to send a special envoy was made in accordance with the agreement reached in October following the talks between Yuri Trutnev and the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Planning and Finance of the Republic of Korea Hon Nam Gi. The former Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation, U Yun Geun, was appointed as the special envoy.

“President Moon Jae In appointed me his special envoy in order to convey to his Russian partners his firm intention to dynamically develop close bilateral cooperation with Russia in various spheres of interaction. At the same time, having sent me as a special envoy, the President also intends to re-emphasize the significance of the anniversary date – the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. I am confident that the partnership between our countries will persistently develop on the basis of friendly and trusting relations between the heads of the two countries, ”said Wu Yun Geun.

As Yuri Trutnev recalled, a large-scale joint project – the Year of Mutual Exchanges between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea – was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of Korea. Organizing committees created in the two countries have prepared a meaningful program of events for the Year, which is held under the slogan “Make friends. Trust. Act”. Although many planned events had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, some were held online. In particular, the business dialogue “Russia – the Republic of Korea: further steps for the successful development of bilateral cooperation” and the international conference “30 years of Russian-Korean contacts in the field of culture and art: results and a picture of the future” were held in the format of a videoconference. In early December, the Russian Academy of Sciences, together with the Korean-Russian Center for Cooperation in Science and Technology, held the IV Russian-Korean Science and Technology Day. A scientific conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations was also held via videoconference. Some projects will continue in 2021. An agreement to extend the Year of Mutual Exchanges for the next year was reached in September between the leaders of the two countries.

The meeting discussed issues of economic cooperation. According to Yuri Trutnev, the Republic of Korea remains an important trade and economic partner of the Russian Federation. The priority task is to increase the rate of investment cooperation in the Far East. In October, during a meeting of the co-chairs of the Russian-Korean joint commission on economic, scientific and technical cooperation, a joint statement was signed on the plan for the implementation of the concept of “nine bridges” (version 2.0). As noted by Yuri Trutnev, to date, the parties have already formed the composition of specialized working groups in charge of the implementation of activities and projects provided for by this plan.

Currently, investors from the Republic of Korea are implementing 10 projects totaling $ 81 million. One of the priority projects of bilateral cooperation in the Russian Far East is the project of the EL Corporation for the construction of an industrial complex in the Primorsky Territory. This project is part of the implementation of the Nine Bridges Implementation Plan (version 2.0). The Russian and Korean sides carried out a lot of work on a detailed study of possible options for the location of the industrial complex, carried out a comparative analysis of the sites, including in terms of the cost of implementation. The parties came to a common opinion on the structure of the project, and by the end of the week it is planned to sign an agreement on cooperation between the Far East Development Corporation and ElH Corporation.

According to Woo Yoon Geun, Korean companies are interested in participating in activities to develop the Northern Sea Route, in particular, in projects to create port infrastructure. Yuri Trutnev noted the readiness of the Russian side to consider the proposals of Korean companies and assist them in holding negotiations with Russian companies.

The joint construction of icebreakers for the transport of LNG was also considered. Large investment projects are being implemented in the Russian Arctic with the participation of foreign investors from China, Japan and France. The Republic of Korea participates in these projects as a contractor. According to Woo Yoon Geun, 15 ice-class LNG carriers have been built and are already in operation at the South Korean Daewoo shipyard, and contracts for another 6 LNG carriers for the Arctic LNG 2 project were signed this month. Further construction of gas carriers will be carried out at the Russian Zvezda shipyard in cooperation with its technology partner, the Korean company Samsung. “All this became possible thanks to the high appraisal of Korean technologies by Russia,” the special envoy explained.

Negotiations continue on the draft Agreement on Free Trade in Services and Investments between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea. Both countries attach great importance to the conclusion of this agreement, which should serve to strengthen economic cooperation and investment cooperation between the countries. The negotiation process continued even amid the pandemic. “I am sure that the work of our teams will lead to the achievement of high-quality and mutually beneficial results,” summed up Yuri Trutnev.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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