The Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin paid his official two-day visit to the Republic of Korea where the Second Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments took place.
The head of the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament has held bilateral meetings with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Chung Sye-kyun and the heads of parliaments participating in the forum.
The meeting on the “development of inter-parliamentary cooperation aimed at achieving common prosperity of the Eurasian states” took place on Tuesday. The event was organized by the State Suma of the Russian Federation and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Vyacheslav Volodin and Chung Sye-kyun presided at the plenary sessions.
The representatives of 26 countries, including, for the first time, EU countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia (at speakers’ level) and Hungary, took part in the meeting. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the Republic of Philippines also sent the heads of their legislatures. Besides, lawmakers from Belarus, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Thailand came to Seoul to attend the forum. The Chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan will represent the Eurasian Economic Union.
Member of the Russian delegation, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Kalashnikov said that the resolution that would be signed following the results of the meeting would be a significant one. According to him, the document had been discussed in advance and national delegations had already suggested their amendments.
Experts have high regard for parliamentary diplomacy’s potential, especially when it comes to Asia. They emphasize its significance to the world commerce and economy and also as a pole needed for shaping a well-balanced world order built upon each nation’s right for social and cultural development.
Rethinking Russia Director Alexander Konkov noticed that Vyacheslav Volodin’s visit to Seoul is another example of parliamentary diplomacy consolidation in Russia.
– It is a new trend of Russia’s international engagement that is now getting more popular. It shows that there are situations when parliamentary contacts, contacts at the level of the representative authorities, turn out to be much more efficient than traditional interactions of executive powers. The reason is that lawmakers are relatively free to discuss political issues, exchange opinions on a broad agenda, do not depend on some particular problems, industry practices.
In this context Vyacheslav Volodin’s choice is important. He has recently visited Serbia. South Korea is one of the most important partners of Russia in the Northeast Asia. This country demonstrates its willingness to cooperate with Moscow on a wide range of issues of mutual interest without turning its head to these or that either overseas or not complexes and stereotypes about Russia.
It is also important that the Republic of Korea is now on the top of the information agenda because of the recent aggravation of inter-Korean relations connected to the problem of the Korean peninsula denuclearization. Parliamentary diplomacy is important here since it can establish a framework for talks strategically without looking back at technical details.
The development of the Far East is also important. Russia pays attention to the neighboring states, “warming up” economic cooperation in order to stimulate the inflow of investments in the region. And this is highly relevant before the Economic Forum that will take place in Vladivostok in early September.