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Meeting with President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak

September 8, 2012, Vladivostok

Vladimir Putin met with President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

The state leaders discussed the possibility of developing trade and economic cooperation between their countries, as well as various aspects of their political relations.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, friends,

We are very happy to see you in Russia.

The Republic of Korea is our third largest trade and economic partner in Asia in terms of trade turnover, following China and Japan. Our turnover volume is $25 billion and last year it showed record growth of 40 percent.

We also have some problems; in my view, the main among them is low investment volume. At the same time, I want to note the fairly significant diversity of our relations, and mutual interest in working in sensitive areas such as shipbuilding, energy, fishing, transport, etc.

We have recently reached a high level of political cooperation and I think that there are very good prospects for developing our interstate relations.

President of South Korea Lee Myung-Bak (retranslated): I am happy to see you, Mr President. I was here in Vladivostok 20 years ago, and I am amazed by the recent changes here, particularly in preparation for the APEC summit. I will take this opportunity to congratulate you on Russia’s accession to the WTO.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Lee Myung-Bak: And I also want to thank you for Russia’s active participation in the Yeosu expo.

In spite of the unfavourable global economic situation, Russia and Korea have achieved growth in their trade and economic relations. I am satisfied and hope that our trade relations will continue to develop.

Now, investment in Russia and Korea is becoming more active, and humanitarian exchanges are expanding. If we sign an agreement on eliminating the visa regime, it will promote mutually beneficial exchanges and contacts between the peoples of our two nations.

Once the number of businesspeople working in Russia and Korea increases, we will see an increase in the number of permanent residents from one another’s countries. So if we sign an agreement on social services, this will help our people as well.

While developing trade and economic relations, I hope we will also have active cooperation in assuring peace and security in this region. Moreover, I would like to note the strengthening of cultural ties between our nations.


September 8, 2012, Vladivostok