News / Asia

Russia Seeks Investment And Trade In South Korea

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands before their press conference  in Seoul, South Korea. Medevev is on an official visit to South Korea. Twenty world leaders, including Medvedev, will come togethe
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands before their press conference in Seoul, South Korea. Medevev is on an official visit to South Korea. Twenty world leaders, including Medvedev, will come togethe
James Brooke

On Russia's coat of arms, the double-headed eagle looks west and east.  Russia's president is now in South Korea, promoting energy sales to Korea and Korean investment in Russia. 

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev is promoting a 40-year deal to sell gas to South Korea, and appealing for Korean industrial investment to help diversify Russia's economy.

Russia's leader said in Seoul his country is interested in the arrival of Korean investors.  He says they bring in modern technologies and introduce a modern culture of production.

Looking for bricks and mortar investments from Asia, Russians like to cite South Korea's Lotte group, which opened a 300-room luxury hotel in September in downtown Moscow.

At the same time, Hyundai opened a $500-million auto assembly plant in St. Petersburg.  Supplied by Korean auto parts plants set up nearby, the Hyundai plant has the highest percentage of locally produced content of any foreign carmaker in Russia.

With Samsung and LG, employing  hundreds of Russian scientists at their research centers in Russia, President Medvedev called for more such 'modernization alliances'.  In Seoul this week, Russians are in talks with Korean companies to build ships, electric transformers, and offshore oil drilling platforms in Vladivostok, Russia's major port on the Pacific.

Russian expert on Korean affairs Leonid Petrov  now teaches at the University of Sydney.

''Regrettably, the eastern part of Russia is still under developed and under-populated," Petrov explains, "and Russia is trying to look at Korea as a potential developer and investor, and competitor to the Chinese developers and investor."

In the gas deal under negotiation, potentially worth $100-billion, the Korean Gas Corporation would also build a liquefied natural gas plant in Vladivostok.

The chief operating officer of Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled gas producer, Alexei Miller, tells reporters in Seoul that Russia sees a big future in gas exports to Asia.

While Europe remains Gazprom's top priority, he said, the volume of Russian gas deliveries to the Asian market could reach the level of gas exports to Europe within a very short period time.

Last year, South Korea started importing Russian oil through a new Siberian pipeline and Russian liquefied natural gas from Sakhalin Island.  With Russia-Korea trade jumping in the past decade, diplomats from both countries are negotiating a visa-free visitor plan.

Not all is roses with Korea.

Last spring, South Korea's embassy in Moscow appealed to Russian authorities to protect the 2,000 South Korean students in Russia.  In two attacks blamed on skinheads, one Korean student was killed and another was injured.

At the same time, North Korea blocks construction of gas and rail lines that would link South Korea's booming economy with the riches of Russia's Siberia.  For the past two decades, Professor Petrov has watched as Russia and South Korea failed to overcome North Korean opposition to such transit links.

"The main problem in this region is the black hole of North Korea which is on the way between Russia, China and South Korea.  And you cannot do much about it because you have to decide whether the pipe is going to go through the North Korean territory and then Pyongyanag is going to hijack and shipment any transit of oil and gas or electricity from Russia or China to South Korea and it becomes unpredictable," Petrov said.

Russia's president touched on the potential instability of North Korea.  Before arriving in Seoul, he told a South Korean newspaper he is "uneasy" that North Korea's nuclear-bomb testing range is slightly more than 100 kilometers from Vladivostok.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid