South Korea is determined to step up contacts with Russia, no matter who wins the next presidential election, due December, said Igor Ivanov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, as he was summing up for the media his official visit to that country.
Mr. Ivanov met with regime and opposition leaders those days, and all were at one reassuring him of an extensive public support for dynamic contacts which were launched in bilateral summitry. "That matters a great deal to us as South Korea is one of Russia's principal partners in Asia, and we greatly needed such reassurances of reliable partnership prospects," said the minister.
All negotiators he met in Seoul were emphasising the importance of bilateral trade and other economic links, he added.
"Our political dialogue is extremely active, and needs a firm commercial and economic basis. We have a choice of related projects to offer--some involving direct South Korea investment in Russia," pointed out the Foreign Minister.
Seoul attaches tremendous importance to Moscow promoting the inter-Korean settlement cause. "We shall do our utmost to help the two Koreas with extending their dialogue and eventually achieve a rapprochement on issues where differences still persist," said Mr. Ivanov.
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