By Lee Tae-hoon
The leaders of Korea and Russia pledged to strengthen their “strategic partnership” in the areas of science and technology, the economy and security in a joint press conference following a two-hour long summit at Cheong Wa Dae, Wednesday.
In a televised press conference, Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Dmitry Medvedev said Korea and Russia, which marked the 20th anniversary of forging bilateral ties on Sept. 30, will work closely on regional security matters and the commercialization of basic science and technology.
“We agreed to cooperate closely to improve conditions for the resumption of the six-way talks,” Lee said, adding that the two countries will make joint efforts to effectively cope with global challenges, including climate change, terrorism and narcotics trafficking.
Medvedev underlined the importance of a multilateral security channel, saying, “There is still room for conflict in the Northeast Asian and Asia-Pacific regions.”
In a joint statement, the two leaders also agreed Korea and Russia will continue to cooperate in studies on information, nano- and bio-technologies, polar exploration, nuclear power and optical science, as well as the development of new materials.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress of the Korea-Russia Energy Cooperation Action Plan signed on Aug. 7 last year, Lee and Medvedev called for the joint development of oil and gas reservoirs and mineral resources in Russia.
They also noted that Korea and Russia will continue to work toward a solution for the transportation of Russia’s natural gas to Korea.
Korea will review Russia’s request to develop an international nuclear energy infrastructure, and an international uranium enrichment center in Russia, according to the statement.
Speaking at a business forum hosted by the Korea International Trade Association and the Federation of Korean Industries, Medvedev said he wanted to stress that Russia wants more Korean firms to invest in Russia.
Following the issuance of the declaration, Lee and Medvedev also attended a ceremony where officials of the two countries signed two agreements and nine memoranda of understanding (MOU) on a wide range of issues.
Following the summit with Medvedev, Lee held talks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
During the summit, Lee and Gillard agreed to make efforts for an early conclusion of a free trade agreement between Korea and Australia.
Lee will meet with the leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and China today.