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A. Svintsov: Address to 32nd International Leadership Conference

Address to 32nd International Leadership Conference, Seoul, Korea, August 26–29, 2018


Dear Chairman, Excellencies, and Participants,

First of all, I would like to thank the Universal Peace Federation and the founder of the federation, Dr. Moon Han Hak Ja, for organizing such an important conference and express my sincere gratitude for her continued contribution to development of international cooperation, especially in the field of the interparliamentary dialogue.

Most recently, the World Cup ended in Russia. This grandiose sports event took place in Russia for the first time. Our country was visited not only by the heads of many states and governments, but also by hundreds of thousands fans from different countries who got a chance to see the real Russia—open, friendly, and modern. In the dynamic and eventful world situation, Russia consistently pursues its responsible and independent foreign policy course.

Our citizens want to see Russia as a strong, independent, and peace-loving state. We are open to partnership, mutually beneficial and constructive relations with all nations and regional associations. We are convinced that, following international law and working on a collective basis, we can solve the most complicated world problems. And for the problem of the Korean Peninsula, Russia proposed a solution, based on collective efforts and dialogue, by presenting a plan for a gradual normalization of the situation. It is good that the ideas laid down in this plan have found practical application. The parties sat down at the negotiating table, and showing mutual respect, refused actions that could lead to irreparable consequences.

Immediately after the historic meeting between President Kim and President Moon in Panmunjom, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the president of South Korea, clarifying that Russia is ready "to promote cooperation between North and South Korea." In a conversation with him, Putin stressed that "Russia is ready to help with the tripartite infrastructure and energy projects of the Korean Peninsula."

The Kremlin also welcomed the summit of U.S. President Donald Trump and the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore and said that this meeting would help to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. However, despite the importance of resolving problems between the United States and the DPRK, including the stages of denuclearization of the peninsula and security guarantees, it is clear that these problems cannot be resolved to the full in a bilateral format. And all participants in the six-party talks invariably proceeded from the premise that the creation of a system of peace, security and stability throughout Northeast Asia should crown this process.

Recently, there has been a positive development in the implementation, together with the Russian Federation, of infrastructure projects that will connect the north and south of the Korean Peninsula, the construction of a gas pipeline and a railway, and issues of trade and economic cooperation.

Russia calls on all interested parties to joint efforts, including in the context of the implementation of the Russian–Chinese road map, in the interests of a comprehensive settlement of the problems of the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear one, using the only possibility—peaceful, political–diplomatic means.

I particularly emphasize the important role of parliamentarians in democratic processes at all levels, and also insist on the need for representative, transparent, accessible, accountable, and effective institutions of parliamentarism. The role of parliamentarians is also important in ensuring peace, stability and economic growth.

Interparliamentary dialogue helps to preserve the dialogue between nations, despite the circumstances that sometimes complicate bilateral relations. In matters of contemporary international politics, different countries often practice their own approaches. Sometimes contradictions are insurmountable, but even in this case, it is necessary to continue the dialogue. After all, often such "insuperability" is due to lack of awareness and misunderstanding of each other's real goals, as well as the issues in the context of international politics.

As deputy chairman of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, I cannot ignore the issue of security of the global information space. We see that the quantity of threats and risks here is constantly growing. According to the information at the World Economic Forum, in 2017, losses from cyberattacks in the world amounted to about a trillion U.S. dollars, and according to experts, without taking effective measures the damage will increase.

Russia faces similar challenges as other countries. For example, in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, the number of cyberattacks on the Russian resources increased by one third. We intend to develop and improve the international system of information exchange on cyber threats. Obviously, the scale of cyber threats today is such that they can be neutralized only by the combined efforts of the entire international community. Russia has always been in favor of a joint and fair resolution of any issues arising in this sphere, and even more so of disputes. However, we are sure that the measures of security and regulation in this sphere should not interfere with its technological progress and innovative development. I would like to emphasize the following: In the turbulent digital age, freedom is important—freedom of communication, exchange of experience and ideas. It is extremely important to work out common rules, common international standards that taking into account the rights and interests of all states as much as possible, would be universal and acceptable to all.

As a positive example, I can cite the experience of the harmonization of uniform rules for protection of personal data by Russia and European states within the framework of the Council of Europe. Very important decisions have been made that do not allow the illegal transfer of personal data of our citizens to other countries. I also would like to remind you that Russia has put forward a number of initiatives that concern the rules of responsible behavior of states in the information sphere, legal mechanisms to counteract information criminality, as well as international regulation of the Internet.

We intend to consistently promote these initiatives, primarily on the site of the most authoritative and influential international organization—the United Nations.

Russia is now openly and purposefully pursuing a policy to build an interparliamentary dialogue. I cannot but note that one of the initiatives of the Russian Federation is convening the World Conference on Interfaith and Interethnic Dialogue. This conference can be convened at the initiative of the United Nations, with participation of heads of state, speakers of parliaments and leaders of world religions.

One of the most important objectives facing the world community, and Russia in particular, is development of transport infrastructure. I would like to express my deepest support of the "Peace Road" project, which is being carried out under the auspices of the Universal Peace Federation. I am confident that this project will play an important role in the peaceful unification of North and South Korea. And, of course, building a transcontinental highway through the Bering Strait could be a very profitable and useful project both for Russia and the entire world community.

The transcontinental highway through the Bering Strait would become the main element of transport and energy infrastructure of the Russian northeast. The length of the new railway lines from Yakutsk to Cape Uelen will be about 4,000 km, and about 2,000 km will be required to be laid in the North America. The idea of carrying out research on the project was actively supported by administrations of the northern and eastern regions of Russia, a number of federal ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Transport, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Engineering Academy and the Russian Academy of Transport, research institutes, and design and production organizations. The economic substantiation of the project has also been thoroughly studied by experts in Russia. At the moment, the construction of railways and roads is already actively being conducted in the northeast of Russia. I am confident that this project will promote development of good-neighborly relations, strengthening the international transport network, and will be beneficial for all participants of the world market. The Peace Road and the Bering Strait projects will link Russia with friendly ties with all countries of the world.

Concluding my speech, I would like to emphasize that in the face of the great challenges in the modern world, the difficulties that we face can be resolved only by showing the ability and willingness to conduct a mutually beneficial dialogue between countries, and in this, the parliamentarians must play a crucial role. I am sure that the work of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace will contribute to this issue.

Thank you.



To go to the 32nd International Leadership Conference Schedule page, click here.