Press Statements following Russian-South Korean Talks 2008-09-29 20:45:16 The Kremlin, Moscow President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, Talks with President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak have just ended. I hope the President will agree that these talks took place in a spirit of friendship and goodwill and showed that we share close positions on most of the issues we discussed. Most important of all probably, these talks were productive and substantive. I want to say that Russian-Korean relations have developed very rapidly indeed over these last years. As President Lee Myung-bak and I agreed, our common task now is to take them to strategic partnership level, and this is something we have every opportunity of doing. This is the approach set out in the Joint Declaration we approved, which defines the measures for developing key areas of our bilateral cooperation and sets out the main principles for our cooperation on the international stage. We have agreed to step up our political dialogue, above all at the top level, develop contacts between our ministries and our business communities, and of course facilitate contacts between our citizens. I am sure the agreement we just signed on simplifying visa issue procedures will make a real contribution in this respect. We think that coordinated steps to prepare for events celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2010 can play an important part in strengthening ties between the peoples of Russia and South Korea. At the bilateral level we paid particular attention to developing investment ties and trade and economic cooperation. As has been said already, we have built up a solid foundation in this area. Last year alone our trade turnover reached a figure of $15 billion, and this year it could reach the $20-billion mark, and this is not the limit. We also have significant relations in the investment sphere. South Korean capital investment in the Russian Federation came to $740 million over the first half of this year, and total South Korean investment in Russia has now reached a figure in the billions – almost $3 billion. The President and I outlined concrete measures to build up mutually beneficial cooperation in the energy sector, fishing industry, peaceful nuclear energy, and space research. I want to note separately our mutual interest in making progress on major joint projects such as the Trans-Korean Railway and its link-up to the Trans-Siberian Railway, and Korean business participation in developing the industrial potential in Russian regions in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, and in preparations for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit [in Vladivostok in 2012]. We also agreed to build up our base of agreements in the fields of education, culture and joint scientific research and to organise the Year of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea and the Year of the Republic of Korea in the Russian Federation. Of course, we paid considerable attention to international issues, especially during our talks in narrow format. We spoke about the current economic situation, the international financial crisis, and the need to strengthen international contacts and expand the cooperation and business partnership between our two countries. This will help us to overcome the current difficulties. We also gave priority attention of course to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the progress of dialogue between the two Koreas. Russia consistently supports a non-nuclear status for the Korean Peninsula and progress in the six-party talks. We think it essential to continue these talks and to pursue the overall development of political, economic and humanitarian contacts between North and South Korea in the spirit of the agreements these countries reached at the summits they held in 2000 and 2007. Overall, I want to say that we are very happy with the results of these talks with our South Korean partners. We are certain that development of our productive bilateral cooperation will help to expand and strengthen our contacts and also strengthen international and regional security. A lot depends on our countries, and ultimately, this all has a direct impact on ensuring greater prosperity for our peoples. Thank you for your attention. President of The Republic of Korea Lee Myung-Bak: Thank you. First of all, I would like to thank you and the people of Russia for the invitation and for the warm hospitality. Today we have held talks in narrow and expanded format. We have agreed to fulfill our commitments in order to develop our bilateral relations. Mr Medvedev and I conducted a frank dialogue on all the main issues, including the development of Korean-Russian relations, issues concerning the Korean Peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue, and plans to build up our real cooperation on the international stage. We share the view that over this short time of 18 years our bilateral relations have developed very fast indeed. We agreed to make efforts to take these relations to the level of strategic partnership in the interests of practical development of the ties between our countries. The President and I agreed to step up our dialogue at various levels, including through reciprocal visits at the top level and dialogue between our foreign ministries in order to take our relations to a new level in practice. We share the view that there is great potential for cooperation between our countries and agreed to build up our cooperation in the aim of achieving real concrete results in different areas, including increased trade and investment, and increased cooperation in the energy sector and so on. We agreed to make every effort to increase Korean fishing quotas for the Korean cod and strengthen our bilateral relations in the fishing industry. We agreed to look for ways to carry out projects, including the supply of Russian natural gas to the Korean Peninsula, the link-up of the Trans-Korean and Trans-Siberian Railways, and the development of the port network in Siberia and the Far East. The President and I also agreed on cooperation in joint development of the West Kamchatka shelf and participation of Korean companies in developing Siberia and the Far East. In the interests of further developing our forward-looking bilateral relations we agreed to hold the Year of Korea in Russia and the Year of Russia in Korea. We expressed our concern over North Korea’s measures to halt the dismantling of its nuclear installations and agreed on close cooperation for a peaceful solution to the North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of stability and peace on the Korean Peninsula. I also noted that the Korean Government is ready to support and provide active assistance needed for the successful organisation of the APEC summit in Vladivostok in 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. The President and I also agreed to make efforts to bolster cooperation on the international stage, including in the UN, to respond effectively to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. I expressed the hope that President Medvedev will visit South Korea soon, and President Medvedev accepted my invitation with pleasure. I am very pleased that these talks with President Medvedev have given us the chance to meet personally and get to know each other better, enabling us to build up deeper relations of friendship and trust. We share the view that we must continue our efforts to develop our bilateral relations. Of course, we will hold consultations at working level to discuss the issues in more detail in order to implement the decisions resulting from today’s summit. I am very pleased that these talks today are a turning point for taking our bilateral relations to a new level, and I wish to express my gratitude for this.