Russian FM in Seoul amid closer Russia-China ties against U.S.
Updated: 2021-03-25 03:57:03 KST
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's first visit to Seoul in eight years comes amid what seems to be cooperation between Moscow and Beijing, against the U.S. and its allies.
During a virtual meeting with Korean correspondents in Moscow last week, Lavrov was vocal about the U.S.' so-called Indo-Pacific Strategy, as well as the "Quad" coalition of the U.S., India, Australia and Japan, which Moscow apparently doesn't want Seoul to join.
He claimed that the move is based on building a bloc against specific countries.
Lavrov also called South Korea a "crucial, promising partner" in the Asia-Pacific region.
It's very likely that he will bring up these issues when he sits down with South Korea's foreign minister Chung Eui-yong on Thursday.
They are also likely to discuss Korean peninsula affairs, and a possible visit to Seoul by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian foreign minister's trip follows a visit to Seoul by the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense last week.
During the Seoul-Washington talks, one of the areas they agreed to work together on was South Korea's New Southern Policy regarding the Indo-Pacific region, though there hasn't been a direct call from Washington asking Seoul to join the Quad.
Before coming to Seoul, Lavrov was in China for talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
The two diplomats said the U.S. should stop "interfering in other countries' internal affairs" and "forming cliques to confront other countries".
This followed a confrontational meeting between U.S. and Chinese officials in Alaska last week, while North Korea and China have shown a desire to strengthen their ties.
The Biden administration, on its part, is emphasizing trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo on regional and global issues, including on North Korea and China.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.