Dialogue with Eom Gu Ho
Assessing Korean-Russian Relations after the Ukrainian Crisis and Implications for Seoul’s Eurasian Initiative
Presented by EOM Gu Ho, Hanyang University
The Seoul Forum for International Affairs hosted a unique presentation by Dr. Eom Guy Ho on July 10, 2014, at the Seoul Club. Eom Gu Ho, professor at Hanyang University and Director of its Asia-Pacific Research Center is one of Korea’s leading Russian specialists provided an in-depth assessment of on-going security and political developments in Russia and implications for Korean-Russian relations.
Opening up the discussion with Russia's strategic changes towards Eurasia and prospects for Ukraine’s government under President Petro O. Poroshenko, Eom examined the long term implications for the Ukrainian crisis on the Russia economy, the Sino-Russian relationship, and Russia’s policies towards the Korean Peninsula. Eom argued that South Korea (and also a unified Korea) could become a very important partner for Russia in Northeast Asia and the ensuing discussions led to key insights by Eom on the sustainability of the Eurasian Economic Union, future paths in U.S.-Russia relationship, and lastly, the feasibility of the Park Administration's Eurasia Initiative as it pertained to the possible expansion of ties between Korea and Russia.
Eom stressed the important role of the United States in the context of shaping Russian foreign policy and security interests in Asia since over the longer term, an increasingly powerful China could prove to be cumbersome to Russia’s strategic interests. In this context, Eom highlighted the importance of much more innovative approaches that could bring together the interests of Russia and the United States in addition to enhancing ties with South Korea. As for President Park’s Eurasian Initiative, Eom emphasized the critical importance of specific institutional measures that must be taken in order to ensure tangible progress.