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Relations between Russia and The Republic of Korea

Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation (former USSR) and the Republic of Korea were established in 1990.

Political_02Russian-Korean relations have rapidly been developed for the less than 20 last years and covered almost all significant spheres. Summits played a large part in this process. Presidents of the two countries have met twenty one times since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The official visit of the President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak to the Russian Federation on September 28-30, 2008, confirmed that the relations with the ROK are considered as a priority of the Russian foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

The main event in 2009 were summit talks between the President of the Russian Federation and the President of the Republic of Korea in Oakville (Italy, July 9), which contributed to further deepening of multidimensional cooperation aimed at adding the feature of strategic partnership to the bilateral relations.Political_02

In 2009 Chairman of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation Anton A. Ivanov, Chairman of Account Chamber of the Russian Federation Sergey V. Stepashin, Vice Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Igor I. Sechin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei V. Lavrov, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Victor I. Ishaev, Chiefs of the Ministry of Transport, Federal Fishery Agency, Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage and Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency paid visits to the Republic of Korea. Also Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei V. Lavrov met Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK Yu Myung-hwan on the Phuket island and in Singapore. Minister of Defense of the ROK Lee San-hi, Minister of Innovation Economics of the ROK Lee Yun-ho, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism of the ROK Yu In-chon paid visits to Moscow.

The similarity or proximity of the approaches by Russia and the ROK to the key international issues, including building an equitable multipolar world order under the central role of the UN, non-acceptance of diktat in inter-state relations, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and protection of global energy security, set a good basis for interaction of the two states in the UN and at other international forums.

By nowadays we have formed the necessary legal basis for bilateral cooperation. Agreements on trade, investment guarantees, fishing, prevention of double taxation, cooperation in military and technological sphere, peaceful use of atomic energy, on cultural exchanges etc. have been signed. Only during the last summit meeting in Moscow:

- Agreement between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in Geology and Entrails Utilization;

- Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Facilitation of Visas for Short-term Visits by their Nationals;

- Framework Agreement between the State Corporation 첕ank of Development and External Economy (Vneshekonombank) and Export-Import Bank of the Republic of Korea;

- MOU between OAO Gasprom and Sogas on organizing gas supplies from the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea;

- MOU on Cooperation between the State Corporation 첮ussian Corporation of Nano-Technology and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Korea have been signed.

The Russia-Korea Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, working on the level of the two countries Governments, includes ten branch-wise committees and subcommittees. The 9-th meeting of the Inter- Governmental Committee was held in Seoul on June 30 July 1 2009 where issues of bilateral trade and economic, investment cooperation, forms of long-term economic cooperation were discussed.

education_02The trade between Russia and the ROK has considerable potential for further advancing development. In 2008 it has increased by 22,4% reaching US$ 18,4 billion. The investment cooperation has become much more intense as well. During the first quarter of 2009, the total volume of South Korean investments into the Russian economy reached US$ 1257, 2 billion including US$ 731, 3 billion of direct investments.

Bilateral trade activities have been noticeably reduced under the influence of world global crisis and deterioration of world economic trends. During first six month of 2009 the trade volume has declined by 52%. Although it is worth to mark that the reducing of trade activities has been slowed down by the end of the year. However it is the trend, not the absolute numbers that is important. Scheduled joint investment projects, first of all, in energy, petrochemical, automobile industry etc. will allow to increase significantly mutual trade.

In spite of a considerable part of raw materials in Russian export goods one should not take Russia as just a raw materials supplier for the ROK market. For example, more than sixty percent of all civilian helicopters used in the ROK were made in Russia. More than a third of nuclear fuel used at the ROK atomic power plants comes also from Russia. Quite a number of commercial contracts on joint scientific research and design as well as on production of Russian licensed high-tech goods in the ROK is under negotiation. Mutually beneficial cooperation is continuing in the sphere of peaceful space exploration.

Joint events on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea will contribute to strengthening of bilateral cooperation. Both countries are preparing for celebration forthcoming anniversary as significant event, which will contribute to adding new features to all the complex of Russian-Korean ties.

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