Russia is highly interested in the implementation of multilateral economic cooperation projects with Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying in an interview with RIA Novosti in connection with the forthcoming visit by North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. The high-ranking diplomat is expected in Moscow on May 20th-22nd. According to him, Moscow "is highly interested in the implementation of multilateral economic cooperation plans. This primarily refers to a project to join railway lines of South and North Koreas and the Russian Trans-Siberian main line thus establishing a transport route linking the Korea peninsula with Europe." Yakovenko added that this project is of the utmost importance from both economic and political points of view. He believes that "the coordination of our joint actions with Pyongyang and Seoul in this area is one of the priorities of Russian foreign policies." The official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasised that "when developing good-neighbourly relations with both Koreas, Russia is striving to contribute to positive processes on the Korea peninsula on any front."
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969