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Speaker Chung, chief Presidential aide attend Day of Russia reception

On the occasion of the Day of Russia, Ambassador of the Russian Federation Konstantin V. Vnukov and Mrs. Yulia B. Vnukova hosted a reception at the Gand Hall of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Seoul on June 11, 2014 with the presence of some 600 distinguished guests from Korean society and the international commujity-as well as the Diplomatic Corps in Korea.

▲National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa (right foreground) and Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov of the Russian Federation (left) stand at attention facing the National Flags of the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation alternately as the National Anthems of the two countries are presented.

There had been a scattered drizzle on and off and it could have dampened the guests from wishing to attend the party, but obviously the weather had had little impact on the guest attendance.
Among the Korean guests were Speaker Chung Ui-hwa of the National Assembly, Chief Presidential Secretary Ju Chul-ki for National Security and Foreign Relations, Deputy Minister Lee Kyung-soo of Foreigh Affairs together with represetnatives from the business, social and cultural sectors as well as from the media, including Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post with four media units.
There were many distingusied guests from the Russian side. Among them were Senator Vitalii N. Ignatenko and the members of the Russian Parliamentary Delegation led by Sennator Ignatenko, Russian Trade Representative Mikhail Bondarenko and other prominent members of the Russian Community in Korea.

▲Ambassador Vnukov makes a welcome speech at the Day of Russia reception.

From the Diplomatic Corps came many mission chiefs accompanied by their spouses, who included Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam (Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Korea), Manuel Lopez Trigo of Costa Rica, Nicolas Fabian Trujillo Newlin of Ecuador, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, John A. Prasetio of Indonesia, Jose Luis Bernal of Mexico, Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Patrick Rata of New Zealand, Hilton A. Dennis of South Africa, Tissa Wijeratne of Sri Lanka and Tajeldin Elhadi Eltahir of Sudan.
Unlike at most other National Day functions, there was music throuought the party presented live by vocalists and music band, which included the National Anthems of Korea and Russia sung by well-established Korean vocalists.
Another distinction of the party was the exhibition of photographs on the Sochi Winter Olympics hosted by the Russian Federation, which attracted many Korean and international guests.
There was a welcome speech by Ambassador Vnukov and a congratulatory speech by Speaker Ju Chul-ki on behalf of the Republic of Korea.

▲Vocalists solemnly sing the National Anthems of Korea and Russia.

Before he began, Ambassador Vnukov offered a silent prayer for the victims of the ill-fated Sewol Ferry that claimed the lives of nearly 300 passengers, most of them students.
He said: “Starting our reception I would like to suggest a minute of silence in the memory of the victims of the bitter tragedy of the Sewol Ferry, that took away so many human lives. We deeply mourn together with the people of Korea.
Let us remember them.”

▲Speaker Chung makes a congratulatory speech on the National Day of Russia reception.

Then he said, “Twenty-four years ago, after adopting the Declaration of State Sovereignty, our nation resolutely took the route of respecting law and human rights, developing democracy, competitive market economy, independent and multi-vector foreign policy. As a result Russia has considerably transformed in a quarter of a century and now is playing a growing role on the international arena, including the UN and its bodies, the G20, the APEC, East Asia Summit, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and many other integration bodies.” Excerpts from the speech follow:

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Vnukov:
Esteemed Speaker of the National Assembly Your Excellency Chung Ui-hwa,
Esteemed Senior Secretary of the President of the Republic of Korea Mr. Ju Chul-ki, Esteemed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea Mr. Lee Kyung-soo, Dear head of the Russian Parliament delegation Mr. Ignatenko and senators, Dear colleagues, fellow ambassadors and officials of the ministries and government structures of the Republic of Korea, members of the public organizations, Dear friends,
I am glad to welcome you all at the reception on the occasion of our National Holiday ? the Day of Russia.
24 years ago, after adopting the Declaration of State Sovereignty, our nation resolutely took the route of respecting law and human rights, developing democracy, competitive market economy, independent and multi-vector foreign policy. As a result Russia has considerably transformed in a quarter of a century and now is playing a growing role on the international arena, including the UN and its bodies, the G20, the APEC, East Asia Summit, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and many other integration bodies.

▲Photographs on display at the reception venue showing the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

We are confident of the bright prospects of the idea of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create an integrated economic and humanitarian zone from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, where Russia can act not only a connecting, but also a prominent role. We are ready to cooperate in this sphere with all the countries concerned, including the Republic of Korea, with President H.E.Park Geun-hye suggesting such ideas as the Eurasia Initiative, North-East Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative and Trustpolitik on the Korean Peninsula. We believe that the realization of these important initiatives requires direct and active interaction with Moscow.
As a whole we are satisfied with the good start that Russia-Korea relations made as the result of two summits of Presidents Putin and Park Geun-hye held last year, maintained and even growing trade volume of 25 billion US dollars, and also with the fact that the Republic of Korea became the first country of the region with which we have visa waiver agreement.

▲National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa (left) of Korea and Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov of Russia welcome the guests at the Day of Russia reception.

On the agenda of Russian-Korean relations now there is the fulfillment of all the agreements reached at the highest level, including the realization of trilateral economic projects (with the participation of DPRK), as well as interaction with the Republic of Korea on setting the atmosphere of peace, security and cooperation in North-East Asia and on the Korean Peninsula. We are ready to do this and expect the same active response from our South Korean friends, many of whom are present today at our reception.
and I would like to propose a toast
-to the bright future of the relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea!
-to happiness and prosperity of the people of our two countries!
-to health and success of all of you - our friends, who came to the reception in honour of Russia! Chears!

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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