President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President,
We just held talks in narrow format and discussed the main aspects of our trade and economic relations. We noted with satisfaction that trade between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea has reached a significant level indeed. We are talking about a genuinely considerable increase over recent years. This increase has continued over this year too and we hope that the final result for the year will take us up to a figure of $20 billion. This is a good result.
Of course, we will work on optimising our trade turnover. This is something both countries need to do and it is something within our power. I think that we will discuss all of these issues during our talks in expanded format.
Our trade and economic relations have become very multifaceted in general and now cover not just relations in the energy sector but also in the machine-building industry. We welcome Korean companies’ readiness to take part in building facilities for the APEC summit [in Vladivostok in 2012]. We are working together on joint issues in the fishing industry and the transport sector, especially railways. We also have a number of other projects that could make a big contribution to activating our cooperation.
Humanitarian cooperation is no less important an area of our relations, and we just talked about this. I think that in this area we need to give ourselves a framework of agreements and make all-round efforts to develop humanitarian contacts in the fields of science, culture and education, contacts that can make their contribution to the general development of Russian-Korean relations.
A whole package of documents that will create the new foundation for our relations is ready for signing. I think that we will not stop here, for there is a need to draft agreements in other areas too.
I am confident, Mr President, that our talks will be productive and will bring good results.
I welcome you and our Korean partners to the Kremlin. We are ready for talks.
President of The Republic of Korea Lee Myun-Bak: Thank you very much.
Tomorrow we will celebrate 18 years since we established diplomatic relations. We are holding important talks right on the eve of this significant date. For me and for all the Korean delegates it is a great pleasure and honour to be here.
We have just concluded our talks in narrow format. The President and I shared the view that our countries have no differences on the main issues. This shows that our countries have an unclouded future before them.
Over this short time, these 18 years, our bilateral relations have developed very fast. In two years time we will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this context I hope that our bilateral relations will not be restricted to the economy alone but will expand too in the areas of science, technology, the arts and so forth.
The Russian Federation’s territory extends both to the west and the east, and I hope therefore that the Russian Federation will continue to show great interest in Asian affairs.
Close cooperation between our two countries will help to inject life into the economy of North Korea and will make a great contribution to ensuring peace and stability in Northeast Asia in general.
We have just discussed some specific issues but now at these talks in expanded format we can discuss issues of more general interest too.