- Press Releases
Foreign Minister Meets with Minister for Development of Russian Far East
1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met in Pohang, southeast of Seoul, on November 8 with Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East of the Russian Federation Alexandr Koslov, who was on a visit to the Republic of Korea for the first ROK-Russia interregional cooperation forum. In the meeting, the two Ministers reviewed the progress in the bilateral relations and exchanged views on ways to bolster ROK-Russia substantive cooperation in the Russian Far East as well as to advance the ROK-Russia interregional cooperation forum.
※ The ROK-Russia interregional cooperation forum, the first round of which is underway in Pohang from November 7 till 9, is a platform for comprehensive cooperation between provincial governments of the two countries, including the ROK’s metropolitan governments and the Russian Far East government. The forum was inaugurated in 2018 pursuant to the agreement between the Presidents of the two countries. Its inaugural round is participated by heads of 17 metropolitan government agencies of the ROK and nine such agencies of the Russian Far East as well as entrepreneurs, experts and students from provinces of the two countries. The event featured congratulatory remarks by President Moon Jae-in and President Putin (delivered by Minister Koslov).
2. The two Ministers, hailing the growths in high-level exchanges, such as President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to Russia in June, the trade volume and people-to-people exchanges, agreed to work closely together to maintain this positive streak.
° The two Ministers, in the hope that exchanges and cooperation with the Russian Far East, which accounted for more than a third of ROK-Russia trade volume, would grow and help to further enhance the relations between the two countries, agreed to have the ROK Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East to continue working together to that end.
※ The volume of the ROK-Russia trade reached US$16 billion in 2015, US$13.4 billion in 2016, US$19 billion in 2017, and US$18 billion as of September 2018.
※ The number of participants in ROK-Russia people-to-people exchanges stood at 292,000 in 2014, 346,000 in 2015, 438,000 in 2016 and the largest-ever 510,000 in 2017.
3. The two Ministers agreed to seek an action plan on the “nine bridges,” the aim of which is a systematic cooperation in the Russian Far East, and to move forward other forms of substantive cooperation in the region as agreed at the bilateral summit talks in June; and to work closely together in that regard through such relevant agencies as the ROK’s Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation.
※ The “nine bridges” are areas of cooperation President Moon proposed at the third Eastern Economic Forum in September 2017 that the ROK and Russia focus on -- gas exploration, railway construction, power generation, shipbuilding, port construction, the Arctic route development, farming, fishing industry, and industrial complex development.
4. The two Ministers noted with appreciation that the ROK-Russia interregional cooperation forum was successfully inaugurated pursuant to the agreement between the Presidents of the two countries, saying that the mechanism paved the way for all-out cooperation between the ROK’s provincial governments and that of the Russian Far East.
° Minister Kang asked the Russian government to pay keen attention to the second forum to come in Maritime Territory in 2019 in order for the forum to become a mechanism for direct exchanges and cooperation between provincial governments of the two countries. Minister Koslov stated that efforts would be made for the second forum to be as productive as the first round.