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MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Russia and North Korea have first concrete results in their trade and economic relations — for the first time, multiple entry visas are granted to Russians who work in companies investing in North Korea, and it is possible to switch to payments in rubles beginning September 9, the Russian Minister for Far Eastern Development, Alexander Galushka, told TASS, commenting on the results of talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong.
“Russian investors are ready to come to North Korea. We are preparing the first substantial business mission that will set out for North Korea late this month,” the minister said. North Korean colleagues are interested in Russian participation in the modernization of North Korea’s electric power engineering sector, he said.
Three possible ways of investment were discussed, the minister said. The first — Russian investments in exchange for access to natural resources. The second — as repayment of North Korea’s debt. Russia has written off $9 billion, and $1 billion remains. It may be spent as Russian investments in the electric power engineering modernization. The third — to use funds earmarked to reduce greenhouse gases effect (taking into account that there are old and environmentally harmful electric power plants).
Speaking about the agrarian sector, the Russian minister said possible loans for North Korea were under consideration. He said Russian, Japanese and South Korean companies expressed interest in agricultural projects in the Far East. At the same time, North Korea has not presented concrete projects or proposals so far, he added.
When asked about joint projects between Russian, North Korean and South Korea, Galushka said it was a priority and Russia was interested in it. “We discussed further prospects to implement the railway project. The rail road has already reached Rajin. South Korea also has interest in it,” he said. Russia’s RusHydro company also considered a tripartite project, he added. “We have agreed that during my visit to North Korea in late October, we will consider all the issues for practical implementation,” the minister said.