Russia may start free trade talks with South Korea Negotiations on the implementation of a free trade zone agreement between Moscow and Seoul may start in 2019, according to South Korea’s ambassador in Moscow, Woo Yoon-keun.

Woo told TASS that “the documents have already been submitted to the parliament [of the Republic of Korea]… We hope that next year we will start intensive negotiations.”

An agreement on setting up a free trade zone between the countries was inked in June during the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Moscow.

Seoul is seeking to significantly ramp up business with Moscow. It wants to speed up the building of the so-called “nine bridges,” meaning gas, railways, the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, job creation, fishing, and other types of cooperation.

Last year, trade between Seoul and Moscow grew 40 percent to $19 billion. The countries have joint projects in Russia’s Far East and economic ties can grow if the countries reach a breakthrough on gas deliveries.

As part of a plan to expand bilateral economic cooperation, Russia and South Korea aim to launch a regular ferry line, connecting their major port cities.

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