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Korea-Russia Relations Upgrade to Comprehensive Partnership

Korea-Russia Relations Upgrade to Comprehensive Partnership

Posted September. 21, 2004 21:56,   


President Roh Moo-hyun, currently visiting Russia, had a summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin Palace on Tuesday afternoon (Russian time) and agreed to join hands in various areas including energy, resources, and space science. After the summit, the two presidents adopted the Korea-Russia Joint Declaration consisting of 10 clauses. In particular, they agreed to upgrade the ties, redefining the relationship from “Constructive and Complementary Partnership” to “Mutually Trustful and Comprehensive Partnership.”

In the joint statement, the two leaders agreed to: hold “energy strategy dialogues” for the development of oil and gas fields in Far Eastern Siberia; cooperation in military technology and space science; reaffirm the principle of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and resolve the North Korea nuclear issue within the framework of the six-party talks; the principle of non-proliferation and ultimate disposal of WMD and its delivery systems; and joint measures to deal with terrorism.

In particular, in the presence of the two presidents, the Korea National Oil Corporation and Russia`s state-run oil company Rosneft signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint development of oil fields in Sakhalin and Kamchatka. The joint oil exploration can begin as early as next year in which Korea’s dividend is expected to be 1.7 billion barrels, which is twice Korea’s annual crude oil import (0.8 billion barrels). The two leaders agreed to push ahead with a convention of cooperation on natural gases for Korea to introduce the natural gases of East Siberia to the country. They also agreed to work out measures for Korea to participate in the pipeline construction projects in East Siberia.

Following the summit, Oh Myung, the minister of Science and Technology, and Anatoli Perminov, director of Russia`s Federal Space Agency, concluded an agreement on space technology in which the two countries will cooperate in astronauts training project of Korean astronauts to board Russian spaceships by 2007.

Also concluded in the presence of the two president were: a construction contract of an oil refinery complex amounting to $1.74 billion between Korea’s LG International and Russia’s state-run refinery of the Republic of Tatarstan; a construction contract to enlarge the oil refinery in Khabarovsk ($0.4 billion); and a memorandum between the Korea Eximbank and Tatarstan to provide export credit support of up to $0.6 billion on credit-loans for the construction of the oil refinery complex.

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com