MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Russian legislators have been making great efforts to establish direct dialogue between North and South Korea in order to iron out the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Tuesday.
The next round of talks between legislators of these two countries could take place at the fifth meeting of speakers from Eurasian and Indonesian parliaments in autumn 2020.
"We take great efforts to facilitate direct contacts between two national parliaments of the two countries [North and South Korea], probably at first at venues in third countries. The fifth meeting of parliament speakers from Eurasia and Indonesia is pending. Let’s say a bilateral meeting could be held there," Kosachev told a news conference on Tuesday, although noting that there was no agreement on the talks.
"But there are many opportunities for such meetings. For our part, the Russian parliament has been actively promoting this," he stated.
The senator believes it is very important that Russian MPs are directly working with representatives of both North and South Korea. In October, Speaker of North Korea’s Supreme People's Assembly (parliament) visited Russia at the invitation of the Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. In November, the Russian delegation met with the speaker of South Korea’s parliament during the G20 Parliamentary Speakers' Summit in Japan.
Missed US opportunities
The Russian senator expressed regret that there was no such dialogue with US colleagues. "Dialogue in this [parliamentary] framework has been frozen upon the American initiative. There are occasional contacts but there is no full-fledged dialogue. No such dialogue is held, including with the goal of settling problems on the Korean Peninsula, although it could have been employed and this would probably be useful. This is another missed opportunity of our American colleagues," Kosachev commented.
In his turn, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Sergei Kislyak welcomed the fact that over the past years tensions in relations between North Korea and the US decreased. Meanwhile, he stressed that problems in their relations had not been solved and only direct dialogue could contribute to this effort. "I don’t think this will be a quick process. But if we compare the situation with that a year or two years ago, tensions have subsided," he said.
In his turn, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov recalled that Russia and China had put forward an initiative to the UN Security Council on easing some sanctions against North Korea. "In case of success, this will also help improve relations between the countries," the senator supposes.
On Monday, Russia and China submitted to the UN Security Council a draft resolution calling for a sanctions relief to improve the humanitarian situation in North Korea. The document suggests lifting restrictions on certain categories of goods needed for infrastructure projects. It also calls for US-North Korean dialogue to be continued at all levels.