First of all, I would like to thank the Institute of Russian Studies of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for organizing the today’s conference, which is showing your permanent interest towards my country. It’s a great honor for me to say a few words on a very important topic of the post-soviet Russian politics, which marks its 20th anniversary this year.
Indeed, a lot has been done in post-soviet Russia within the last 20 years. The Russian Federation has returned to the world arena as a strong democratic state, capable of defending itself and worth to be regarded. We have accumulated a considerable foreign policy capital, now working for the country’s development, protecting interests of our citizens and national businesses. Significant financial reserves have been accumulated, and they protect the country from external crisis threats and guarantee our social obligations in the future. Russia’s financial position is being strengthened, its macroeconomic stability and financial self-sufficiency are generally ensured. As a result, during the last two years Russia has been witnessing a real investment and consumption boom. With its internal consolidation Russia once again is turning into an influential and independent factor in the world politics and economics. Without Russia and despite Russia, not a single international problem of any significance can be solved. We are a reliable partner for every country of the world community in solving global problems.
Home and foreign policy of the modern Russian Federation are determined by the long-term goals of the modernization of our country, diversification of its economy and its transition to innovation model of development. Creating favorable external conditions for the achievement of these goals has become the main priority of the Russian diplomacy. The Russian Federation is ready for gradual raising of interaction, based on equal rights and respect of mutual interests with every state, which shows counter aspiration. We are interested in mutually beneficial cooperation in all the fields such as security, science, technology, energy, culture, climate change prevention and so on.
In no other region our internal and external interests are so interconnected as in Northeast Asia. In this region we need to guarantee external security for the economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East. And by Russia’s view, such guarantees could be best provided by developing positive relations with our neighbors. From this point, the partnership with the Republic of Korea, which is an integral component of Russia’s general strategy in Asia Pacific, bears an independent value to my country. The proximity of the positions of Russia and the Republic of Korea on the key issues, that international community is facing today, such as construction of a multipolar world order with the central role of the United Nations, inadmissibility of dictatorship in interstate relations, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, maintenance of global energy safety, create a good basis for cooperation of our two States in the UN and within the framework of other international forums. Nowadays there is practically no sphere, in which Russia and the Republic Korea don’t cooperate; we collaborate in such fields as maintenance of international security, foreign trade, economy, culture, science and technology, energy and joint space research.
During the Russian-South Korean Summit in Saint-Petersburg in November, 2011, the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dmitry A. Medvedev, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Lee Myung-bak, have confirmed the priority of Russian-South Korean relations for both states and have stressed that our bilateral interaction is positively achieving the level of strategic cooperation partnership. Our two leaders agreed that the priority directions of mutually beneficial economic cooperation between our two States should become the large-scale investment projects connected with the economic development of the Russian regions. First of all, they are to be realized within the framework of the “Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025” as well as by means of Russian-South Korean energy dialogue, providing large-scale export of Russian liquefied gas, oil and electric power to South Korea, cooperation in car - and ship building, titan industry, peaceful use of nuclear energy, outer space exploration as well as cooperation in areas of IT and communication fields, in financial sphere, in infrastructure construction of APEC-2012 summit in Vladivostok and winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
We are ready to bring contribution to the normalization of Inter-Korean relations. We consider the settlement of the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula and the Inter-Korean normalization to be the two inseparable matters. The settlement of these issues can promote the achievement of our common goal – the establishment of lasting peace and security system in the Northeast Asia. For this reason Russia always advocates in favor of the two Korean states’ steps to continue and develop their dialogue. In order to assist to this process we have already offered some large tripartite projects with the participation of Russia, South and North Korea, such as construction of gas pipeline through the territory of North Korea, which has made a great progress during the last few months, connection of the Trans-Korean railway with the Trans-Siberian railroad, construction of an integrated energy system in Northeast Asia, connecting the Korean peninsula with the regions of Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East.
So the goals of the post-soviet Russian policy are clear and simple. These are to create favorable external conditions for safe and comfortable life of the Russian people and develop close cooperation and friendly relations with our foreign partners. The absolute majority of other states, including the Republic of Korea, wish exactly the same. We are a self-sufficient country. But we are not going to isolate ourselves from the outside world either. The post-soviet Russia is following an independent, pragmatic and responsible policy. Our country is a reliable and faithful partner in international affairs.
I am sure that the today’s conference will be useful for all of You from the point of deepening such understanding.
Thank You for Your kind attention.