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MOSCOW, November 1 (Itar-Tass) —— It would be premature to suggest a tripartite summit of Russia, South and North Koreas, Presidential Aide Sergei Prikhodko said on Tuesday, ahead of a Russia-South Korea summit in St. Petersburg.
Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Lee Myung-bak will meet in St. Petersburg on November 2 to discuss military-technical cooperation, energy projects and the settlement of the North Korean nuclear problem.
Lee comes to St. Petersburg on a working visit on Tuesday by the invitation of Medvedev. The latter will come to St. Petersburg upon the end of a working trip to Altai.
That would be the third Russian visit of the South Korean president since 2007. “The presidents will hold their sixth meeting,” Prikhodko said. The intensive summit contacts are bound to bolster the Russia-Korea political dialog and cooperation and to confirm the unwavering course of the Russian and South Korean authorities in the strengthening of the bilateral relations,” he said.
The presidents will discuss steps Russia and South Korea may take for resuming multilateral negotiations with North Korea and for making more specific their commercial negotiations.
Russia, South Korea and North Korea have three main cooperation projects, Prikhodko said. “It is the question of linking Korean railroads to the trans-Siberian railroad and gas and electricity transit to the south of the Korean Peninsula across North Korea. A substantial impulse to these plans was given during the Russian visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in August 2011,” he noted.
“It is of paramount importance that the tripartite projects will bring serious economic dividends to all the participants and will build up stability and security in Northeast Asia,” he said.
The leaders will discuss the nuclear security summit planned in Seoul for next spring.
“They will focus on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. After North Korea had agreed to resume the six-nation negotiations without preconditions [the agreement was declared at Kim’s meeting with Medvedev in Ulan-Ude on August 24], it is necessary to use this opportunity window for the soonest restart of the political and diplomatic settlement of the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula,” the Kremlin said.
At the same time, Medvedev and Lee would hardly discuss the possible time of the resumption of the six-nation negotiations of Russia, the United States, China, Japan, North and South Koreas at their meeting in St. Petersburg, the aide said.
“Trade, investments, fuel and energy cooperation, fishery cooperation, military-technical cooperation, space exploration cooperation and humanitarian affairs are key areas of Russia-South Korea relations,” Prikhodko said.
Medvedev and Le will address delegates of the Russia-South Korea Dialog forum organized by the St. Petersburg State University and the Seoul University. “The visit will take place against the backdrop of the actively developing trade and economic relations. South Korean investments in the Russian economy grew by almost 30% in 2010 and exceeded $2.6 billion,” he said.
“The startup of a Hyundai Motors Rus plant near St. Petersburg in fall 2010 with South Korean investments of $500 million is an example of mutually beneficial cooperation. This is the only full-cycle plant of a foreign carmaker in Russia,” Prikhodko said. “Bilateral trade is record. It will top $20 billion for the first time ever this year. Bilateral trade grew by 45.6% in January-August 2011, as compared with the same period of the previous year,” he said.
The Russian delegation to the Russian-South Korean summit will include Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Presidential Aides Arkady Dvorkovich and Sergei Prikhodko, Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin, Director of the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service Mikhail Dmitriyev and Federal Space Agency Director Vladimir Popovkin. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller may also take part in the summit.
Upon his working trip to St. Petersburg, Medvedev will go to France to attend the G20 Cannes summit.