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Russia Supports 6-Party Talks: Russian Envoy
Amb. Konstantin Vnukov Meets with Local Journalists
By Lee Seung-Geun
Staff Writer
Russian Ambassador to Seoul Konstantin Vnukov (right) poses for The Seoul Times with his wife Mrs. Yulia Vnukova (to his left), President Christine Park (2nd from left) of the Christine Foundation and Ms. Kim Ye-Seul, President Park's assistant during reception held on Feb. 10, 2010 at his embassy in Seoul on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Seoul and Moscow.

Russian Ambassador to Seoul Konstantin Vnukov and his spouse Mrs.Yulia Vnukov hosted a reception at its embassy to commemorate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea on Feb. 10, 2010.

A total of 150 Russians and local Koreans as well as some top foreign envoys were invited to the "Diplomatic Service Day" reception.

Earlier on Feb. 5, 2010 Russian Amb. Vnukov met with local Korean journalists including the ones from The Seoul Times in a press conference at his embassy in Seoul.

The Russian envoy said that there has been great improvement in bilateral ties between Moscow and Seoul, referring to the 20 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Russian Ambassador to Seoul Konstantin Vnukov in press conference at his embassy in Seoul on Feb. 5, 2010.

The strategic relations between Russian and South Korea have been consolidated since September of 2008 when President Lee Myung-Bak visited Moscow, he said.

He said that the cooperation in such areas as space, oil, and chemistry, automobile will continue to develop in the near future.

He also mentioned that Russian would welcome South Korean approach to inter-Korean contacts or summits.

Amb. Vnukov revealed that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev plans to visit South Korea perhaps around Sept. 30, 2010, the day of diplomatic opening between Seoul and Moscow.

Russia is mulling over the Russian president's participation in the G20 summit slated for November 2010 in Seoul, according to the Russian envoy.

He added that the meeting of both foreign ministers is also being sought.

University forum between South Korea's Korea University and St. Petersberg University in Russia is also planned to be held sometime this year.

He voiced his opinion that the six-party talks over the North Korean nuclear issue should soon be resumed, referring to the need of Russian support for the multi-lateral talks.

The Russian envoy said that the reunification of the divided North and South Koreas would mean a lot to Russia.

He said that the unified Korean Peninsula would be a huge economic benefit to Russia.

The Russian envoy is supportive of President Lee Myung-Bak's comprehensive proposal known as "Grand Bargain" to North Korea as a prerequisite to resuming the inter-Korean talks.

"For that 'Grand Bargain proposal, Russia is ready to cooperate with South Korea," he said.

He also mentioned the needs for the cooperation among North and South Koreas and Russia for the actual economic benefits.

The Russian ambassador also stressed the importance of Trans-Korean Railway (TKR) and Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) for the abundant natural resources and natural gas in Russia to be delivered to South Korea.

Russia is currently contacting North Korea for that project. He concluded that the six-party talks involving North and South Koreas, China, the United States, Japan, and Russia are in greater need than any other times to not only tackle the North Korean issues.

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