Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak will meet in St. Petersburg on Wednesday to discuss a host of issues, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.
The two leaders are set to discuss energy, transport and military cooperation, as well as North Korea’s nuclear problem, he said.
Prikhodko said transport and energy issues, namely railway links between the Trans-Siberian Railway and Korean railroads, as well as gas and electricity transit to South Korea via North Korea, will be central on the talks’ agenda.
The visit will take place against the backdrop of actively developing bilateral trade and economic ties. South Korean investment in Russia’s economy in 2010 grew 30% to exceed $2.6 billion. In the first eight months of 2011, trade grew 45.6% year on year. This year trade is expected to exceed $20bn.
When asked if any practical agreements in the nuclear security sphere could be achieved at the meeting, the presidential aide was skeptical.
“I don’t think this is possible beyond the frames of the six-party talks,” he said.
Six-party negotiations involving both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States broke down in April 2009, when Pyongyang pulled out. The United States wants Pyongyang to commit itself to disarmament before the negotiations are resumed, while North Korea wants no preconditions.