Russia says talks underway for Putin’s Seoul visit
A senior Russian politician said Tuesday talks were underway to make Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Seoul happen.
“The South Korean government suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin visit Seoul. We’re well aware of this. Talks are underway in Kremlin on the specifics of Putin’s Seoul visit,” Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, was quoted as saying during her meeting with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang in Belgrade, Serbia.
In June this year, President Moon asked Putin to visit Seoul “at the earliest possible date” during the South Korea-Russia summit on the sidelines of their participation in the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Speaker Moon also asked the Russian politician to “persuade” North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program and to strengthen economic ties between Seoul and Moscow.
“A delegation of North Korea’s parliament will visit Russia next week. Please tell them denuclearization should be achieved to push for various economic projects on railways, natural gas and electricity,” Moon said. The speaker was traveling to Serbia to participate in the 141st assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Serbian city.
During the talks, Moon expressed his appreciation for Russia’s continuous backing for Seoul’s “engagement-centric” North Korea policy in achieving verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Along with China, Russia is another crucial ally for North Korea, also having a permanent seat in the United Nations. North Korea refused to accept an offer for low-level sanctions relief by the United States at recent working-level nuclear talks in Sweden. Putin earlier suggested providing firm guarantees of the North’s regime security as the core prerequisite and condition in advancing the denuclearization dialogue.
With economic sanctions imposed on the North, Pyongyang and the Kremlin have stepped up exchanges in recent years, signing a number of agreements and holding follow-up meetings on various areas of cooperation and joint economic projects.
South Korean National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang, left, shakes hands with Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of Russia’s upper house Federal Council, during a meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Oct. 14, after attending the 141st assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.