South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet today in Moscow.
The talks are expected to address recent developments on the Korean peninsula, specifically increasing denuclearization efforts with North Korea. The Russian-Korean relationship has deepened with the occurrence of past meetings, creating resistance to US initiatives in the region.
This alignment stems from South Korean political culture. While South Korea is democratic, they place an emphasis on national autonomy. Even with a conservative administration, South Korea would not be tougher on China in the way US interests desire. This political structure feeds into Russian interests. While South Korea does not necessarily oppose US presence in the region, Russia does. Lavrov recently criticized what he argues are US-invented Indo-Pacific strategies embodied in the Quad (US, Japan, India, Australia). Lavrov feels these coalitions disrupt indigenous partnerships, especially the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN).
Expect Russian-South Korean alignment to make it easier for Russia to resist US influence in the region and for South Korea to not cater to US interests with China. This meeting will provide another chance for Russia and South Korea to demonstrate their close and continued allyship.
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Gabbi is the Recruitment and Outrech Coordinator at Foreign Brief. She also writes for the Daily Brief where her regional focus centers on Europe and the former USSR. Gabbi's specialization is in intelligence and international law.