`Russia Desires Real, Advanced Partnership with Korea'

Article excerpt

Russia wants to establish a ``real partnership'' with Korea, as it is a powerful country in East Asia, capable of exercising influence over the policy-making processes of the world's four powers, a Russian researcher told a forum yesterday.

K.N. Kulmatov, deputy director of the Institute of Actual International Problems of the Russian Diplomatic Academy, made the remarks in his presentation to the opening session of the 2nd Korea-Russia Forum at Seoul's Marriott Hotel, marking the 10th anniversary of Korea-Russia diplomatic ties.

``Frankly speaking, Korea is one of the countries in the world with which Russia wants to establish an advanced partnership in a real sense. One of the reasons for this desire is that Korea is a strong country in East Asia which can exercise influence on all the four powers,'' he said.

Kulmatov noted that the two countries should not remain as simple trade partners, but maximize the ``human and intellectual potentials'' of their relations by developing new projects.

In particular, citing an example of the development of natural gas in Sakhalin, he urged Korean businessmen to explore new opportunities in Russia, since early comers are supposed to net lucrative profits.

With regard to Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to North Korea, Kulmatov said that Moscow needed to improve its ties with Pyongyang, as their relations had become estranged since Russia's setup of diplomatic ties with South Korea in 1990. …