PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Friends, this is truly an exceptional and very memorable event today, the unveiling of this monument to the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin here in the centre of the Republic of Korea’s capital.
Our Korean friends would have been hard placed to think of a better way to warm a Russian’s heart.
The unveiling of this monument to Pushkin is further recognition of Russian culture’s tremendous contribution to the global cultural heritage. I hope that this monument will inspire Koreans and visitors to Seoul to study the Russian language, Russian culture, and Russian literature.
The South Korean President said today that her dream is to create a common infrastructure linking all of Asia’s huge territory. Humanitarian infrastructure, if I may call it that, lays a foundation for cooperation in all different areas.
Today, we agreed on visa-free travel for our citizens for short periods of time. In this context, events such as this, symbolic events such as the unveiling of this monument to the great Russian poet Pushkin, are very good signs of a new quality in our relations.
I want to thank our friends from South Korea’s Pushkin House for the initiative to erect this monument. It was they who turned to our writers’ organisation [the Russian Writers’ Union] with this proposal.
I thank the Mayor of Seoul and the Republic of Korea’s leadership for supporting this initiative. I want to congratulate you all on what is certainly an extraordinary event in our cultural life and express the hope that we will have many memorable events ahead in the development of our cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
Thank you very much.