Esteemed Director of the Institute of Russian Studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Professor Hong Wang-seok!
Ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, let me express my sincere thanks for Your kind invitation to take part in today’s event, which is dedicated to a very important anniversary. 40 years ago the Institute of Russian Studies was opened at one of the leading educational institutions of the Republic of Korea - Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. The opening took place even before the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two States and it became possible due to South Korea’s interest in Russia as well as to great expectations and hopes of South Korean society, regarding the prospects of cooperation with my country.
Over the past 40 years experts and staff-members of the Institute have made a great deal of work. Thanks to Your efforts and enthusiasm hundreds of young South Korean citizens got acquainted with the Russian language and Russian literature, having found themselves closer to Russia. We appreciate Your contribution to promotion of mutual understanding between our two nations and spiritual rapprochement of our peoples. It is reasonable to say that “the Russian team” of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies became a pioneer in new Russian-Korean relations. In this regard, I would like to thank the leadership of the University, as well as all the experts and staff-members of the Institute for their sincere interest in Russia and for their desire to work hard for the sake of the development of our bilateral cooperation.
We are quite satisfied with the results achieved in our state-to-state relations and are ready to strengthen the strategic partnership. At the same time we should double efforts in humanitarian sphere.
The previous lack of knowledge about each other is generously filled by mutual efforts of Russian and Korean sides. Many books on the Republic of Korea are published in Russia. South Korean movies are also very popular in my country. And on the contrary, Russian music, ballet, classical and modern literature are well-known in the Republic of Korea. The number of students studying Korean and Russian languages is increasing every year in our two countries. Russian and Korean youth shows its growing interest in mutual communication.
The Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Russian Embassy in Seoul and South Korean Embassy in Moscow are doing a lot for further development of our bilateral ties. But really great success can be achieved only through joint efforts of statesmen and scholars as they play an important role in opening the way to minds and hearts of Russian and Korean people, who devoted their life to strengthening the relations of trust and friendship between our countries.
I congratulate all of us on the 40th anniversary of the Institute of Russian Studies and wish all of You success, good health and prosperity!