|View of Kremlin with fireworks during blue hour in Moscow, Russia / gettyimagesbank|
By Andrey Kulik
Russia Day is a national holiday of the Russian Federation, celebrated on June 12. Since the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty in 1990, the Russian Federation has endeavored to build friendly relations with foreign partners, including the Republic of Korea, based on the principles of the U.N. Charter, respect for the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs, settlement of disputes by political and diplomatic means and renouncing the threat or use of force.
Currently, the international situation is greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic that has become a grave challenge to everyone without exception. The entire architecture of global governance created after World War II is being tested.
Following Russia Day we will also mark 80 years since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). On June 22, 1941, one of the most tragic dates in our history, the Nazi hordes invaded the territory of the Soviet Union to kill and to spread death and pain, horror and immeasurable suffering. The Soviet people at the cost of incredible efforts defended their motherland and liberated the whole of Europe from the "brown plague." Every single family in our country cherishes the sacred memory of those who fought for our victory, and we will always be proud of their feats. History demands that we learn from it. Unfortunately, nowadays attempts are being made to revive a large part of Nazi ideology and the ideas of those who were obsessed with the delusional theory of their own supremacy.
The Russian Federation is consistently defending the international order based on the central role of the U.N. and international law.
|Russian Ambassador to Korea Andrey Kulik / Courtesy of Embassy of Russia in South Korea|
The Republic of Korea is one of Russia's most important partners in Asia and the Pacific. On Sept. 30, 2020, we marked a significant milestone ― the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. However, the history of our bilateral ties goes back to the 19th century when the first Russia-Korean Friendship and Commerce Treaty was signed in 1884.
For the last three decades Moscow and Seoul have developed a sustainable political dialogue, which is being strengthened and promoted by regular contacts at the top level, including the Moscow Summit on June 22, 2018, between President Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in during his state visit to the Russian Federation, and their meeting on the margins of the G20 summit in Osaka in June 2020. We will continue expanding and invigorating our bilateral exchanges with South Korea, including between parliaments and governments.
Last March Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Seoul to participate in the opening ceremony of the Year of Mutual Exchanges between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, which symbolized mutual sympathy between our peoples and a qualitatively new level of relations that has developed over the past decades between our nations.
Russian-Korean trade and economic cooperation also demonstrated impressive success over 30 years. The bilateral turnover has grown by almost 130 times and reached $25 billion in 2019. Last year due to the coronavirus pandemic it declined to $19.6 billion. Nevertheless, we believe that in the near future we can return to the positive trend. In this context we give high priority to realizing joint plans in the framework of the "Nine Bridges" concept initiated by President Moon, including projects in rail transportation, energy supply, nuclear power, shipbuilding, healthcare and medicine, primarily in Siberia and the Russian Far East where foreign business can enjoy special advantages in the Priority Development Areas and the Free Port of Vladivostok.
|Russia National Day / Courtesy of Embassy of Russia in South Korea|
We will continue to expand our humanitarian ties with the Republic of Korea, organize visits of performance groups and exhibitions and hold festivals and other joint events. The Russian and Korean people show mutual interest in language, history and culture of each other, which serves as a good foundation for promoting mutual exchanges and tourism. Especially, the "Russian Seasons" festival, which is to be held in Korea this autumn, will provide a good opportunity for Koreans to get to know Russian culture and art deeper.
Russia and South Korea interact closely on international and regional agendas. Moscow supports Seoul's efforts to promote the peace process and early resumption of negotiations between the parties concerned in the interests of settlement of the entire range of issues of the Korean Peninsula and establishing sound architecture of stability and mutual security in the Northeast Asia.
We are confident that friendship between the peoples of Russia and Korea will form the basis for strengthening bilateral ties in all spheres and contribute to the further development of a solid Russia-Korea partnership.
Andrey Kulik is Russian Ambassador to South Korea.