The development of bilateral relations between Russia and South Korea turned out to be actually frozen, but the South Korean side is sending signals of readiness to “unfreeze” them, says Russian Ambassador to Seoul Andrei Kulik. He clarified that contacts between the two countries have declined against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Mr. Kulik delivered a lecture at Wongwan University in the South Korean city of Iksan. The ambassador said that South Korea took the side of the West in the situation with Ukraine, because of which “there was a radical turn” in relations between Moscow and Seoul. “If not destruction, then freezing of all the wealth that we have accumulated over the previous 32 years,” Andrey Kulik is convinced (quoted by TASS).
According to him, after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, interstate contacts between the Russian Federation and South Korea ceased in almost all areas, with the exception of the activities of embassies. But, according to the ambassador, the South Korean side is ready to normalize relations. “From what I observe, both sides, including our Korean partners, are focused on ensuring that under favorable circumstances all this (wealth.— “b”unfreeze,” he said.
He clarified that Moscow positively assessed Seoul’s refusal to supply lethal weapons to Kyiv. Mr. Kulik said that in 2022, the trade turnover between the countries exceeded $30 billion, but South Korean exports to Russia fell by a third. The ambassador added that South Korean business in Russia is experiencing difficulties due to Western sanctions, but urged to complain about this to the US authorities.
In April, South Korean President Yoon Sok-yeol said that his country could start supplying weapons to Ukraine if there was a threat to civilians. In May, his office confirmed this possibility. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow could take into account the supply of weapons by Seoul in its approach “to resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula.” Yonhap wrote that South Korea does not supply weapons to Ukraine in order to maintain relations with the Russian Federation.
About what happens after the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine, read the material “Kommersant”.