Moscow and Seoul were united by online conference “The Republic of Korea and Russia: 30 Years of Friendship and Cultural Exchanges”

08 October 2020
Conference “The Republic of Korea and Russia: 30 Years of Friendship and Cultural Exchanges” took place online in Moscow and Seoul. Such representative forum had been organized by the Korean-Russian Society for Culture and Art and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.

When addressing the participants, President of the organization Lee Sun Gyun emphasized importance of culture and art in bilateral relations. According to him, the conference will support development of the ties in economic, cultural and other areas.

Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Korea Park Yang-woo believes that abundance of the Russian art and multiple sides of the Russian culture have, in many ways, influenced development of culture and art of his country. According to him, masterpieces of art of the two nations will strengthen our good neighbourly relations. The exchanges between Moscow and Seoul are expanding and even the current pandemic will not stop them – we will overcome the crisis to secure the partnership of many years.

Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Leonid Drachevsky agreed with Park Yang-woo that there was no pandemic, which would be able to stop development of the bilateral cooperation and we would continue steadily moving forward.

The speaker told about the times when he was heading a delegation of Soviet swimmers at the Olympics-1988 in Seoul. Then, our athletes had been fascinated by Korea so much that they had fallen in love with it immediately and unconditionally. That discovery of Korea, according to Leonid Drachevsky, was the most powerful incentive for establishing friendly relations.

The head of the Gorchakov Fund mentioned that there was a constant exchange of opinions on a large number of issues taking place between us and the economic cooperation was developing. The civil societies of our countries were actively participating in that exchange of opinions while trying to between understand each other, better understand turbulent events happening in the world and learn how to face the new challenges.

Programs for high school and college students aimed at introducing the younger generation to many centuries of achievements in science and culture of our nations have proved themselves. Events targeting popularization of music and fine arts are gaining momentum. The Russian cinema has found devoted fans in Korea, and the Korean cinema – in Russia, mentioned Leonid Drachevsky.

He stated that the Agreement on Mutual Visa Waiver, which took effect on January 1, 2014, had been supporting development of cultural and touristic exchanges between our countries.

The head of the Gorchakov Fund mentioned that after facing the new challenge – the coronavirus pandemic – Russia and Korea had demonstrated effectiveness of cooperation among healthcare professionals and scientists-virologists of both countries. The exchange of experience in treatment and preventative measures allows to confront the threat and makes the final victory over the global disease closer. This being said, the coronavirus was not able to interrupt connections between our nations for a long time. Already on September 27 daily flights between Moscow and Seoul resumed, summarized Leonid Drachevsky.

The attendees of the conference were welcomed by heads of diplomatic offices of both countries. Ambassador of Korea to Russia Lee Sok-bae emphasized that development of long-term relations should be based on deep mutual understanding between our people. Thus, those relations will be built in the spirit of strategic partnership.

Ambassador of Russia to Seoul Andrey Kulik, in his turn, reminded the audience that after starting with zero, the two countries had accumulated enormous experience of cooperation in all areas. Korea has become one of the top Russia’s partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the diplomat, we are united by, indeed, friendly relations. Trade and economic cooperation has become a success. During those 30 years, the volume of goods exchange has increased by 130 times.

Chairman of Seoul Arts Center Son Suk acknowledged that the bilateral relations were not limited by those three decades. According to her, art was successfully connecting us despite the language and cultural differences. After establishing cultural unity, we can develop systematic cooperation.

Special Representative of the President of Russia for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy believes that the current conference has become a great example of what level our relations achieved over the past 30 years. However, we have been discovering each other profoundly for a long time.

The speaker stated with satisfaction that currently about 3 000 Koreans studied in Russia and 500 Russian students were learning the Korean language and studying the Korean culture at the universities of Seoul and other cities.

After the end of the pandemic, we will continue cooperation in all fields. Numerous interesting and memorable events are awaiting us in the future, summarized Mikhail Shvydkoy.