UPDATE : 2018.11.18 SUN 14:50
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‘With newly elected President Moon Jae-in, I hope Russia-Korea relations will reach a new height’Says Ambassador Timonin of Russia at National Day reception


“One of the essential partners of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific region is the Republic of Korea. Just one month ago the people of the Republic of Korea elected a new President. Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again congratulate H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-In on his election to the top State office, to wish him great success in his responsible work and to express hopes that the relations between our two countries will reach a new high level in the nearest future.”

Ambassador Timonin of Russia (17th from left) poses with Korean dignitaries and other ambassadors. Seen fourth from left is Ambassador Vitaly Fen of Uzbekistan, who had been the Dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps before his return to Uzbekistan several years ago. A descent of a Korean emigrant family to Russia, Fen has an excellent command of the Korean language and had made many good Korean friends before his departure from Korea.

This statement was made by Ambassador Dr. Alxander A. Timonin of the Russian Federation in Seoul at a reception he and Mrs. Timonin hosted at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on June 9, 2017 in celebration of the Day of Russia.
“Interest which is being demonstrated by the new Administration of the Republic of Korea towards strengthening of strategic partnership with the Russian Federation,” said Ambassador Timonin, “cooperation with our country in nuclear settlement on the Korean Peninsula, as well as its striving to joint realization of large-scale economic projects in Siberia and Far East - in energetics, transport, Northern Sea Route development, shipbuilding, agriculture, fishery and other directions, is of great importance for us.” (See excerpts from further details of his speech toward the end of this article.)

Ambassador Alexander Timonin of Russia in Seoul

Many distinguished guests from the Korean society attended the function as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. Among the Korean guests in attendance were National Assemblyman Song Yung-gil, National Assemblywoman Suh Young-kyo, Secretary General Woo Yoon-geum of the National Assembly, and a good number of civic figures represent all walks of life, including the media whence came Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media. Among the many envoys in attendance accompanied by their spouses was Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu of Viet Nam who was relatively new in Korea. Amidst retaliatory measures taken by China against Korean businesses in China due to the deployment of THAAD (terminal high altitude area defense) batteries in Korea, Viet Nam, and a number of other Southeast Asian countries for that matter, is looked upon as a very important country as an alternate country of economic cooperation between them and Korea. Korean guests of honor made congratulatory speeches after Ambassador Timonin. One of them, who spoke after Ambassador, was Secretary General Woo Yoon-geun of the National Assembly. He said in part: “Today in the international arena, there are an increasing number of issues that cannot be solved by unilateral and incomprehensive dialogue. In particular, in order to bring North Korea to the negotiating table and achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and peace in East Asia, the parliaments of Korea and Russia must work closely together. MSEAP will be part of our joint efforts.”

Secretary General Woo Yoon-Geun of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea

Then he said, “This gathering is extra special to me as I recall my first encounter with Russia twenty years ago when I worked as the legal advisor to the Korean Embassy in Moscow.”
“Later on, he said, “I was lucky to study at Russia’s prestigious Saint Petersburg University and after I was elected a member of the National Assembly, I actively participated in the Korea-Russia Dialogue and the Korea-Russia Future Forum.”
Then he said: “So it came naturally to me that people call me a Russia-friendly figure.
As much as I am grateful to be invited to many events related to Russia, I feel a huge responsibility to be of more help to the bilateral relations between Korea and Russia.”
(See excerpts from his speech at the end of this article.)

Ambassador Timonin of Russia (sixth from left) poses with well-wishing Korean dignitaries at the National Day reception of Russia in Seoul. Seen second from left are National Assemblywoman Suh Young-kyo, Secretary General Woo Yoon-geum of the National Assembly and National Assemblyman Song Yung-gil.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Timonin:
I’m glad to welcome all of you at the reception dedicated to our national holiday – the Day of Russia. On June 12, 1990, the “Declaration of State Sovereignty” was proclaimed. Since then we began the history of a new democratic State. For the last 27 years a large-scale reforms have been conducted in our country in political, social and economic, cultural spheres, pushing forward deep transformations in different fields, as well as improvement of our peoples’ life, strengthening of Russia’s global positions on international stage.
Diplomatic activity of new Russian State is aimed at good living and improvement of our people’s well-being, sustainable development of our economic and social sphere under favorable external conditions. We are searching for common approaches with those, who understand that joint efforts are the only way of combating terrorism and other modern challenges. In other words, we are open to those, who are ready to work together with us and to take into account each other’s interests on equal and mutually beneficial basis.
Russia is highly interested in active participation in integration processes in Asia Pacific, in utilization of a giant capacity of this region, in the development of social and economic programs in Siberia and Far East, as well as in the creation of universal, open, equal and transparent security architecture in the region on community-based conditions.

Mrs. Natalia Timonina (spouse of the ambassador of Russia), sixth from left, poses with the spouses of the other ambassadors attending the reception. Mrs. Nehal Hanna (spouse of the ambassador of Egypt and chairperson of the Association of the Spouses of the Ambassadors in Korea) is seen fifth from left.

One of the essential partners of the Russian Federation in Asia-Pacific is the Republic of Korea. Just one month ago peoples of the Republic of Korea elected a new President. Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again congratulate H.E. Mr. Moon Jae In on his election to the top State office, to wish him great success in his responsible work and to express hope that the relations between our two countries will reach a new high level in the nearest future. Interest which is being demonstrated by the new Administration of the Republic of Korea towards strengthening of strategic partnership with the Russian Federation, cooperation with our country in nuclear settlement on the Korean Peninsula, as well as its striving to joint realization of large-scale economic projects in Siberia and Far East - in energetics, transport, Northern Sea Route development, shipbuilding, agriculture, fishery and other directions, is of great importance for us.
It is noteworthy that despite of rapidly changing political and economic situation in the world the year of 2017 turned out to be fruitful for our two States. This year we are planning to commemorate the 27th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations, to arrange essential bilateral events, which will confirm the high level of our cooperation in different spheres.

Newly accredited Ambassador and Mrs. Nguyen Vu Tu of Viet Nam. Their country continuously looms large in the eyes of Korean business leaders as a favorable investment target against the backdrop of mounting pressure on Lotte Group and other Korean businesses in China coming in obviously retaliation against US development of THAAD missiles in Korea.

We assign high priority to the Second Meeting of the Heads of Parliaments of Eurasia to be held in Seoul in the end of June under the initiative of the Heads of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea and State Duma of the Russian Federation under the topic of “Development of interparliamentary cooperation for common prosperity of Eurasia region countries” (40 heads of parliaments are invited). We also expect active participation of our South Korean partners in the 3rd East Economic Forum planned in forthcoming September and 19th World Festival of Youth and Students to be held in October this year as well as in other international events in Russia.
A wide range of important joint economic projects in the European part of Russia, especially in Siberia and Far East, is being realized. We are working on creation of Free Trade Zone between the Republic of Korea and Eurasian Economic Community (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kirghizia), welcome the participation of South Korean business in so-called “Territories of priority development” and Free Port of Vladivostok in our Far East. South Korean business is getting involved in joint research of the Northern Sea Route, in the development of its infrastructure, as well as in other logistics projects on our territory using Baikal-Amur Railroad and Trans-Siberian Railway either.

From right: Ambassador Timonin, Secretary General Woo Yoon-Geun of the National, Rep. Song Yung Gil, and First Vice Minister Lim Sung Nam of Foreign Affairs.

It is important to note that Russia and Korea are interested in searching of joint ways of international issues’ settlement, regarded the stabilization on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the creation of sustainable peace and security regime in North East Asia. Unfortunately, we have to admit that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has become very strained during the last period of time. In spite of the UN Security Council’s Resolutions and warnings of neighbor States, North Korea continues dangerous missile and nuclear tests. Along with that the Republic of Korea and the United States of America hold large-scale joint military drills working out offensive operations against Pyongyang. American THAAD systems are deployed on the territory of the Republic Korea in a very rapid way. They are the elements of global AMD system of the USA, which poses security threat in the region. Under such conditions, Russia appeals to all the countries concerned calling them to be restraint and to consider serious negative consequences of further escalation of tense on the Korean Peninsula and in North East Asia. The Russian side considers it necessary to accelerate joint search of constructive strategy of peace, diplomatic settlement of the Korea Peninsula’s nuclear issue and to create the system of peace and security in North East Asia.
Let me propose a toast! To further strengthening of friendship and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea!
To the health and success of all participating Korean friends, ambassadors of foreign states and Russian countrymen!

Ambassador and Mrs. Vitali F. Fen of Uzbekistan (third and second from left) poses with Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (far left) and other Korean guests.

Excerpts from the speech of Secretary General Woo Young-keen of the National Assembly:
It is my great pleasure to be here and celebrate the Day of Russia as this year marks the 27th anniversary after the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the RSFSR on June 12, 1990.
As his first diplomatic move after taking office, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea dispatched special envoys to four countries including Russia. By doing so, he sent a clear message at home and abroad that the partnership between Korea and Russia is invaluable.
The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea has also put much effort to enhance its relations with Russia and facilitate various channels for exchange, and its efforts started to see the fruit.
One of the examples is the Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments that is held jointly by the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea under the theme “Promotion of Inter-parliamentary Cooperation for Common Prosperity in the Eurasian Region.”
The First MSEAP held in Moscow last year in April was a great success under the leadership of Former Chairman Naryshkin of the State Duma.
The Second MSEAP will be held in Seoul this year for three days from June 26, and Speaker Chung Sye-kyun of the National Assembly is taking great interest in preparing the Meeting along with Chairman Volodin of the State Duma.
MSEAP is the fruit of Korea and Russia’s joint efforts to scale up political, economic, and cultural exchanges among Eurasian countries. Thanks to our efforts, 27 parliaments confirmed their representation in the Meeting this year.

Ambassador and Mrs. Alexander Andreevich Timonin of Russia are flanked by Fashion Designer Lee Sang-bong on the right and a Korean tenor.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask for your interest and support for the MSEAP as it is based on the faith that political, economic, and cultural diversity is the driving force of common prosperity.
Today in the international arena, there are an increasing number of issues that cannot be solved by unilateral and incomprehensive dialogue. In particular, in order to bring North Korea to the negotiating table and achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and peace in East Asia, the parliaments of Korea and Russia must work closely together. MSEAP will be part of our joint efforts.
This gathering feels extra special to me as I recall my first encounter with Russia twenty years ago when I worked as the legal advisor to the Korean Embassy in Moscow.
Later on, I was lucky to study at Russia’s prestigious Saint Petersburg University. After I was elected a Member of the National Assembly, I actively participated in the Korea-Russia Dialogue and the Korea-Russia Future Forum. So it came naturally to me that people call me a Russia-friendly figure.
As much as I am grateful to be invited to many events related to Russia, I feel a huge responsibility to be of more help to the bilateral relations between Korea and Russia.
On behalf of the Korean National Assembly Secretariat, I would like to extend my congratulations again on the Day of Russia. I look forward to the continued progress in the Korea-Russia relations, and I wish you all good health.

From left: Ambassadors Antonia Quintero Nobre of Portugal, Adrien Theatre of Belgium and Milan Lajciak of Slovakia. At far right is Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk of The Korea Post media.

Kim Su-a  edt@koreapost.com

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