UPDATE : 2018.9.20 THU 12:21
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‘Korea has become Russia’s leading, most promising economic partner’Says Ambassador of Timonin of Russia in Seoul

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Reporters Ms. Sua Kim, Hillary Kang

Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of the Russian Federation in Seoul said, “Korea has become one of Russia's leading and most promising economic partners in the Asia-Pacific region and in 2017 the trade turnover between our countries amounted to 18.9 billion dollars, an increase of 41.4% compared to 2016.”

Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of Russia (4th from left) poses with main guests. Vice Minister Lim Sung-nam of Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on the right of Ambassador Timinin and President Son Kyung-sik of CJ group at far right.

Speaking to an estimated 600 Korean and international dignitaries attending the reception he and Madam Timonina hosted in celebration of the Day of Russia at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 12, 2018, Ambassador Timonin stated that the key areas of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with South Korea are the implementation of large-scale investment projects in the European part of the Russian Federation, as well as the creation of new industries in Siberia and the Far East of Russia with an active utilization of advantages for foreign business provided within the Territories of Advanced Development and the Free Port of Vladivostok.

Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of Russia delivers a welcome speech to the guests.

“In this regard,” he said, “we highly appreciate the President of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Moon Jae-In, putting forward the ‘Nine bridges’ concept for intensification of economic interaction with Russia in such areas as gas industry, development of railway communications, creation of port infrastructure, electric power industry, development of the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, agricultural production , fisheries.”
The Day of Russia marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1990 marking the beginning of cardinal changes in Russia, its movement towards a new political, economic and social order. Twenty-eight years ago, citizens of the new Russia defined their national interests, set the strategic goals and began to implement them. (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this report.)

Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of Russia (6th from left, front row) poses with other ambassadors.

The reception was a very well attended one. Among the participants in the reception, among other guests, were Vice Minister Lim Sung-nam of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Son Kyung-sik of CJ group, and Director Ahn Kyu-hwan of Ahn Kyu-hwan of RH Focus actively contributing to the economic cooperation between Korea and Russia. From the media came many prominent figures who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-la guage news publications for the past 33 years.

Mrs. Natalia M.Timonina (6th from left, spouse of the ambassador of Russia) poses with the spouses of other ambassadors. Fourth from left is seen Mrs. Konul Teymurova, spouse of the Azerbaijani ambassador, who heads the Ambassadors Spouses Association in Seoul.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Timonin:
I am glad to welcome you at the reception on the occasion of our national holiday - the Day of Russia. The adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1990 marked the beginning of cardinal changes in our country, its movement towards a new political, economic and social order. 28 years ago, the citizens of the new Russia defined their national interests, set the strategic goals and began to implement them. As a result, we managed to preserve the unique diversity of the peoples of Russia, prevent forgetting the principles of civic spirit and patriotism, achieved reliable strengthening of our sovereignty along with success in many areas of social and economic development.

Ambassador Alexander A. Timonin of Russia (4th from left) poses with, from left, President Kim Hyung-dae of the Korea Post, Manager Lee Seung-hun of Sales & Marketing Division of RH Focus, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of the Korea Post, Sales Manager Cindy Park and Director Ahn Kyu-hwan of RH Focus.

Let me briefly introduce the tasks that the President and the Government of Russia put forward today. They are quite simple: to create internal and external conditions for stable and prosperous life of Russians. In the first decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May this year after a convincing victory in the presidential elections, it is noted that the Russian economy must be oriented towards the real needs of people and is closely linked to ensuring security, improving health, access to energy and information. Hence, our choice of priorities for economic modernization and technological development designed to lead our country to the leading positions in the world by 2024.
No less important are the tasks the leadership of the Russian Federation sets for our diplomatic service. In his inauguration speech in May this year, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia's foreign policy should be extremely pragmatic, and its effectiveness should be assessed by a simple criteria: does it help improve Russia's living standards or not.
Aiming to achieve these goals, Russian diplomacy intends to make maximum efforts. We will do everything to strengthen international law based on the principles of the UN Charter, we will continue to uphold the universal values of justice and equality, take practical measures to prevent the degradation of the unbalanced world order system. This applies equally to the removal of tension flashpoints in various regions of the world - from the Middle East and North Africa to our neighboring Ukraine, and to the settlement of the Syrian, Iranian and Korean problems in close cooperation with our key foreign partners, including the Republic of Korea.
This year our countries will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. During this period, we achieved significant results in all directions. Regular meetings of the leaders of Russia and Korea on a bilateral basis and on the sidelines of major international forums, contacts of heads of foreign affairs agencies and legislative bodies facilitated strengthening our partnership and set the benchmarks for long-term cooperation.
The Republic of Korea has become one of Russia's leading and most promising economic partners in the Asia-Pacific region. Suffice it to say that in 2017 the trade turnover between our countries amounted to 18.9 billion dollars, an increase of 41.4% compared to 2016. The key areas of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with South Korea are the implementation of large-scale investment projects in the European part of the Russian Federation, as well as the creation of new industries in Siberia and the Far East of Russia with an active utilization of advantages for foreign business provided within the Territories of Advanced Development and the Free Port of Vladivostok.
In this regard, we highly appreciate the President of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Moon Jae-In putting forward the "Nine bridges" concept for intensification of economic interaction with Russia in such areas as gas industry, development of railway communications, creation of port infrastructure, electric power industry, development of the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, agricultural production , fisheries. We are ready for further close cooperation with the Committee for Northern Economic Cooperation set up in the Republic of Korea for this purpose.
The Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea fruitfully interact not only in the economy, but also in the world arena, within the UN and other international organizations. In this regard, we look forward to further joint effort in resolving of the acute issues on global agenda, including those related to the stabilization in the Northeast Asia and the search for solutions to the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula. Russia welcomes the positive developments of the situation here, such as the two inter-Korean summits held this year as well as a series of high-level contacts and the achievement of important agreements concerning the future of the Korean nation.
We express our hope that their implementation will promote denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, de-escalation of tension in Korea, stabilization of the situation in Northeast Asia. We are prepared to render all assistance possible to this process, including the realization of tripartite projects of economic cooperation with the participation of Russia, the ROK and the DPRK. This is the aim of the "road map" developed by Russia jointly with China for a comprehensive settlement of the Korean peninsula problems. The plan presupposes a mutual freeze of military activities in the region by the DPRK and the United States, including the deployment of missile defense elements and other US strategic weapons in the South, in order to create a favorable atmosphere for negotiations with the ultimate goal of forming a collective system of peace and security for North-East Asia.
Cooperation between Russia and the Republic of Korea in the cultural and humanitarian areas is characterized by active interaction between our countries in education and concert exchanges, bilateral exhibitions of fine arts, as well as a large number of other joint events. The most important channel for communication at the civil societies level is the “Russia-Republic of Korea Dialog” created in 2008.

Hillary Kang  edt@koreapost.com

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