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Major headway in Russian-South Korean ties, but no breakthroughs yet, senator says

Seoul’s position on not joining anti-Russian sanctions could be used more efficiently, according to Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. It is early to speak about any breakthrough in relations between Russia and South Korea, Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday, stressing that Seoul’s position on not joining anti-Russian sanctions could be used more efficiently.

Kosachev, who chairs Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) International Affairs Committee, said: "We know that South Korea initially did not take part and is not taking part in the West’s sanctions campaign aimed against Russia."

"This time we state that those opportunities that this South Korean position is creating are not used in full and it is now early to speak about any breakthroughs in our relations," Kosachev said at the meeting with Chung Dong-young, an MP of South Korea’s National Assembly who heads a group for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.

Kosachev noted that relations between Moscow and Seoul are "at the advanced phase of their development."

"I won’t affirm that our approaches to modern world problems fully coincide, but I’m sure that the interests are the same. This interest is that the world should be safe, stable and be free from mutual threats and risks of military conflicts, what is especially vital given our common neighbor North Korea," he said.

At the meeting, Kosachev confirmed that the sides discussed a possible visit of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko to South Korea, but will agree on a convenient date in the future, he noted.