WELCOME ADDRESS of H.E. Konstantin V. Vnukov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea at the Opening Ceremony of the Russian National Day at EXPO-2012 Yeosu Korea

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Honorable Commissioner-General, Deputy Minister!

Distinguished guests!

I welcome you all to the Opening Ceremony of the Russian National Day at EXPO-2012 Yeosu Korea!

From times immemorial mankind has been intrigued by the living ocean with its boundless bodies of waters and natural beauty, as well as by the great power of the element itself and its mysterious proprieties. The chronicle of the Ocean is strewn with great geographical discoveries, tremendous battles, triumphant victories and tragic defeats.

The Ocean’s depths gave life to our entire planet. Its waters still shares with us energy and resources – the very essence of our existence.Thus, the careful and rational use of the Ocean is an important task in ensuring our joint safe future.

Russia has its own history and special relationship with the Ocean. Our country is bounded by the waters of 13 seas which are a part of three oceans: the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Russia also boasts a unique coastline of about 60 thousand kilometers.

Our slogan at EXPO-2012 is «Ocean and Man: the Path from the Past to the Future». The symbol of a «path» which is central to the cultures of Asian nations served as the basis of the Russian Pavilion. Our dear guests are taken on a journey across the exploration history of the Ocean; they familiarize themselves with its prodigious character, discover the modern ways of using its resources andcome to understand the importance of finding harmony in the relationship between the Ocean and mankind. Each section of the Pavilion marks a step in the relationship of man and ocean: from discovery to exploration, from exploration to use, from use to development, from development to preservation.

In our exhibition which is presented on a space of about 1 000 square meters we tried to present Russia as a great sea power and to introduce our guests to the Russian North, the history of the Northern Sea Route, the geographical discoveries of Russian sailors and explorers and, most importantly, new research of the World Ocean which aims to attain harmony between Nature and Mankind.

We trust that the visitors of EXPO-2012 will find something of value in thegreat story of a strengthening bondbetween the Russian people and the Ocean, as well as in the ideas, concepts and propositions contained within the Russian Exhibition. We also sincerely hope that our Pavilion at EXPO-2012 will be deemed worthy by the international expert community.

We are delighted to become once more the guests of our Korean friends and partners. In 1993 Russia already participated in the International exposition in Daejeon.

Though the Russian Federation has been a frequent participant of World Fairs, our country is yet to host such a world-renowned event. Last year, we lodged our bid for hosting EXPO-2020. Turkey, Thailand, UAE and Brazil are the other official candidates for this honor. Russia has proposed Yekaterinburg – the heart of the Ural Region – as its candidate city. The Russian Exhibition at EXPO-2012 gives our visitors an opportunity to familiarize themselves with this unique city – an important juncture between Europe and Asia.

We will do the best we can to try and achieve victory and we are hoping that the Republic of Korea – our close and valued partner – will support us in this endeavor.

The partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea is by no means limited to hosting World Fairs and International Conferences.

Just within the timeframe of 2002-2011 the trade turnover between our two nations grew by 11,5 times and at the end of 2011 reached about 25 billion U.S. dollars. The Republic of Korea is one of our largest trade partners in Eastern Asia.

Russian and Korean companies cooperate to a great extent in a number of fields, including the automotive industry, shipbuilding and electronics. There is also great potential in further strengthening our ties in the aircraft industry, the medical industry and other areas.

We are actively developing our cooperation in finance. In 2011 Korean investments into the Russian economy totaled  2,8 billion U.S. dollars.

I would like to conclude my speech by extending my warmest gratitude to the Honorable Commissioner General and our Korean friends, as well as the Embassy and Trade Mission of the Russian Federation for their full assistance and support during the preparation for EXPO-2012. I also invite all our guests who have not been able to do so earlier to visit the Russian Pavilion at EXPO-2012. Today is a special occasion – the Russian National Day at EXPO-2012 – and it will be repletewith interesting occurrences and entertaining cultural events. I wish you all a fine day! I thank you for your attention!


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