SEOUL, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday departed for Russia where he will meet in St. Petersburg on November 2 with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. In the run-up to his working visit to Russia to attend the summit and the second forum “Russia – the Republic of Korea Dialogue” in St. Petersburg, he gave an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass.
“The current visit to Russia is third during my presidency, and I am the first President of the Republic of Korea, who has so frequently visited Russia. In September 2008, during a summit with President Medvedev in Moscow, Korean-Russian relations were raised to the strategic partnership level,” Lee Myung-bak said. In this connection, the two countries are to develop, he said, not only economic cooperation, but also to expand the range of bilateral cooperation, including military-technical cooperation, cooperation in security and the social sphere, as well as cultural and humanitarian exchanges.
The South Korean President expressed the hope that during the current bilateral summit the sides will discuss a wide range of issues concerning the further development of bilateral cooperation. “I also intend to discuss the issue related to the positive role of Russia in promoting peace and stability in Northeast Asia and in denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, I hope that Russia will play this role,” the RK President stressed.
After the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990, he said, the bilateral trade increased more than 90 times. The bilateral trade volume on the current year results is forecasted to break the historical record, exceeding 20 billion US dollars. The volume of Korean investment in Russia has been consistently increasing. “The growth of Russian investment in the Republic of Korea is also desirable. I think that during this meeting we can also discuss issues and Russia’s economic modernisation and expansion of cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the Russian regions of Eastern Siberia and the Far East,” said Lee Myung-bak.