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S. Korea, Russia agree to strengthen cooperation in developing Far East

All Headlines 19:00 August 25, 2016

SEJONG, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Russia agreed Thursday to cooperate on developing infrastructure in the Russian Far Eastern region, as well as on pushing forward with a free trade pact, Seoul's finance ministry said.

The agreements were reached at a South Korea-Russia joint committee meeting on the economy, science and technology held in Seoul.

At the meeting, South Korea's Deputy Prime Minister Yoo Il-ho, who is also double hatted as finance minister, and his Russian counterpart Yuri Trutnev shared their goals and emphasized the importance of partnership, along with other high-ranking officials from the two countries.

The deputy prime minister-level talks have taken place every year since 1997, and this year's meeting is part of preparations for the Seoul-Russia summit slated for early September.

The two countries will enhance government- and business-level cooperation on Moscow's plans to develop the Russian Far East.

Russia will support South Korean firms investing into its projects to build cold storage facilities in the eastern city of Vladivostok and to modernize its harbors in the region.

Both sides also agreed to seek a free trade agreement between South Korea and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which has Kazakhstan Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan as members.

The South Korea-EAEU FTA is expected to bolster the bilateral economic relationship between the two regions.

South Korea's exports to Russia reached US$4.7 billion last year, down 53.7 percent on-year, with a trade deficit of $6.6 billion.

brk@yna.co.kr
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