|President Moon Jae-in, left, talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit meeting in 2017. Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae|
By Do Je-hae
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Seoul next week is renewing attention to the country's role in Korean Peninsula issues.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Russia's top diplomat will be in Seoul March 23 to 25. One of the top objectives of the visit is to take part in a ceremony for the 30th anniversary of relations between the two countries, as well as talks with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong.
"Minister Chung will hold talks with Minister Lavrov on March 25 and exchange views on bilateral relations and the Korean Peninsula as well as share comprehensive views on a range of global issues."
The visit comes amid rising interest in the possible revival of multilateral discussions on the Korean Peninsula such as the six-party talks under the new Biden administration to resuscitate momentum for Moon's peace process.
The two countries have been enjoying active diplomatic exchanges despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Moon Jae-in sent ruling party veteran Woo Yoo-keun to Russia in December 2020 as a presidential envoy to discuss celebrations for the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties and explore ways to further enhance bilateral relations.
Moon also spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin last Sept. 28, and invited the Russian leader to Korea.
"We hope to continue close communication and cooperation between the two countries for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, we hope President Putin's visit will be realized as soon as the COVID-19 situation is stabilized, providing an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their dialogue on the development mutually beneficial and future-oriented bilateral relations," the presidential office said in a statement.