Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in met at a summit in Moscow on Friday, June 22, where they agreed to work towards negotiations for a free trade agreement between Russia and Seoul, Moon's office said in a press release, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
"To achieve the goal of $30 billion in trade and 1 million in the number of visitors between the two countries by 2020, the two leaders agreed to work for practical cooperation that can actually benefit the people of the two countries," the statement said.
The two leaders agreed to kick off "local processes" for the launch of the free trade agreement negotiations between the two countries in sectors like service and investment first, the statement added.
The two countries later signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint efforts to launch the free trade negotiations, along with 11 other pacts on bilateral cooperation and exchange in various fields like information and communication technology, railways and natural gas, Yonhap added.
South Korea was set to expand its medical and welfare support to Russia.
Moon said on the occasion that South Korea and Russia were key cooperation partners and his government felt a strategic cooperation with Moscow was an important part of Seoul's foreign and security policies. He also the agreements reached between the two parties improved the lives of the people in both nations.
Putin, on the other hand, expressed hope over increased economic cooperation with South Korea. He noted that the bilateral trade between Moscow and Seoul had touched nearly $20 billion but could get better further.
Putin invites both Koreas to September economic forum
Putin also took opportunity to invite Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to an economic forum which he held in Vladivostok in September besides the leaderships of China and Japan.