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Amb. Ivashentsov Marks Day of Russia in Seoul
Russian Amb. Ivashentsov second from left) poses with his wife Mrs. Ivashentsova (second from right) , US Amb. Vershbow (left) , Mrs. Vershbow (center).

The Russian Ambassador to Seoul, Gleb A. Ivashentsov and his wife Mrs. Irina Yu. Ivashentsova hosted a reception in celebration of his national day "Day of Russia" at the Russian Embassy in downtown Seoul.

In a congratulatory speech Russian Ambassador to Seoul Gleb A. Ivashentsov said that Russia is growing both politically and economically, overcoming the general difficulties of the 1990s. The top Russian envoy stressed the bilateral ties between Moscow and Seoul by saying "Today the Russian-South Korean relations are steadily rising to the level of multifaceted and trustful partnership."

About 200 guests including foreign ambassadors operating in Seoul attended the reception. All the participants were entertained with traditional Russian cuisines on the garden of the Russian Embassy.

On the day, fireworks and other cultural events were held around the world as well as on the Red Square in Moscow, celebrating the most important Russian holiday.

Russian Amb. Ivashentsov poses with other ambassadors.

The Day of Russia is its Independence Day holiday in the Russian Federation celebrated on June 12. Russian Parliament formally declared its sovereignty from the Soviet Union On June 12 in 1990. The holiday was renamed "Day of Russia" in 2002. 2003 is the first year that it was celebrated in a major way.

The following is the full text of Russian ambassador's speech.

Dear Guests and Colleagues,

I am glad to see you here on the occasion of the Day of Russia. We celebrate it in a great frame of mind. My country is confident about its future. We have overcome in general the difficulties of the 1990-s "transition period." For the last three years Russia has been one of the world leaders as for the terms of economic growth.

The export profits made it possible for us to increase investments in such spheres as modern energy production, including nuclear energy, communications, space exploration, aircraft production. Russia has been traditionally strong in those fields. A breakthrough in their further development will serve as a locomotive for an overall economic upgrade of the country.

The economic growth has allowed Russia's government to give a push to the sectors which directly affect our citizens' life quality. The National Programs in education, health, agriculture and housing are being put in progress.

Mrs. Irina Yu. Ivashentsova poses with other ambassador's wives.

The measures aimed at advancing democratization of Russia's political system are also in motion. I would like to stress that our people opted for democracy and market economy not because we wanted to please someone in foreign lands. It was our own option. We are and we will be going our own Russian way extending a friendly hand to all those who acknowledge our choice and our interests, to those who are prepared to work with the new Russia on the basis of equality and mutual respect for making the modern world a more democratic and fair and through that a much safer place.

Partnership with the Republic of Korea is one of the basic elements of Russia's policy in Asia. The two countries have common or similar approaches to major international issues, such as formation of the new, multi-polar world order with the key role for the UN, non-acceptance of diktat in inter-state relations, combat to international terrorism and securing non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"Today the Russian-South Korean relations are steadily rising to the level of multifaceted and trustful partnership." There is not a single sphere of human activities not covered by the two countries cooperation. In addition to cooperation on land and sea cooperation in space is now developing – in 2008 the first South Korean cosmonaut will be launched to space with a Russia spaceship.

Russian-Korean partnership in not directed against any third country. It is aimed to secure favorable external conditions for peaceful and prosperous life of Russian and Korean peoples. Therefore it corresponds to vital interests of our two peoples as well as to strengthening peace and security in North-East Asia and Asia-Pacific as a whole.

Dear Guests, may I invite you to join the toast to the good-neighbor relationship and the strengthening interaction between Russia and the Republic of Korea!

The above photos were taken by Sophia Yoo, staff reporter.

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