Congratulatory message of

H.E. Gleb A. Ivashentsov

Ambassador of Russia

to the Republic of Korea

at the opening ceremony of KEEI symposium

Towards regional energy cooperation in North East Asia

September 15, 2006





Dear friends and Colleagues,

I am grateful to the Korea Energy Economic Institute for the invitation to this symposium and for the opportunity to address it.

The world economic growth entails not only the need for access to sales markets, but also - on an ever larger scale - to energy resources. And it is but natural that energy security problems are going to become an ever more urgent theme of multilateral and bilateral interaction in Asia and beyond.

As you know, Russia has taken the issue of the global energy security as the priority theme of its chairmanship in the Group of Eight. Our country supports the transparency and predictability of the energy markets, which should create when combined with other measures the optimal terms for the partnership in the global energy chain. In this case the interests of both producers and consumers of the energy should be considered.

The seminar is dedicated to the regional energy cooperation in the North-East Asia. Russia is an integral part of the region. I shall say more: here as nowhere else our internal and foreign policy interests intertwine. It is not just the matter of maintaining the security of our state borders, but also the urgent issue of the economic upgrade of vast territories of Siberia and our Far East and the exploration and development of their enormous natural resources.

The achievement of these goals we view through the development of closer economic partnership with our neighbors which are also interested in it as they understand the fact that not only Russia needs an economically mobile and politically stable Asia, but Asia itself needs a strong and prosperous Russia as well.

It is doubtless from the purely pragmatic point of view that the goal of common economic prosperity, the fundamental idea of Asian integration, will be at least hard to reach without the energy, scientific and intellectual potential of Russia.

The flow of investments from all interested countries of the region on the balanced basis would surely make it easier for us to tap our Siberian and Far Eastern energy resources. But with all the complicity of this mission, as well as of the development of the Asian part of Russia as a whole, we are determined to solve it on our own. We have no intention of either giving up our sovereignty or sharing it with anyone. This is the most important condition for the cooperation with our partners in development of the natural resources basing on the Russian law.

In the Russian-Korean Joint Action Plan for economic, science, technology and culture cooperation the energy dialogue was given a special priority, aimed at defining the mainstream vectors of the interaction in the energy sector and strengthening the regional energy cooperation in the North-East Asia. It means a wide range of cooperation in different fields as of natural gas, oil, coal and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Considering the oil and gas industry, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea are planning to sign an Agreement on the cooperation in the gas industry, the text of which has been approved already, that aims at the preparation of a long-term program of the Russian natural gas supplies.

Besides that, the contract signed between Sakhalin Energy, which explores and develops the natural gas projects in Sakhalin, and the KOGAS of the Republic of Korea provides the annual export of 1,5 million tons of LNG starting from 2008 for 20 years period.

There is also an agreement on the working group on the issues of the natural gas export to the Republic of Korea by a pipeline, which is to be formed by the authorized agencies of the two coutries.

The Russian-Korean consortium with participation of Rosneft was formed for joint exploration and development of oil and natural gas resources on the Kamchatka Peninsula continental shelf. The preparation works for the drilling has already been completed for the coming fall-winter season.

As President V.V.Putin of Russia has pointed out the trustworthy and benevolent relations between Russia and the Republic of Korea are of course based on similarities in our vision of the modern world. But what is the most important, it is a vast amount of initiatives on which Russians and Koreans are working together. Russian-Korean partnership, with the energy cooperation being a great part of it, corresponds to vital interests of our two peoples as well to strengthening peace and security in North-East Asia and Asia-Pacific as a whole.

I wish a fruitful work to all participants of this symposium.

Thank you.