Regional leaders descend on Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum

Regional leaders descend on Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum

The third annual Eastern Economic Forum, which advertises investment opportunities in the Russian Far East to foreign businesses and governments,

Siberian oil derrick

Photo: Calin Tatu/Shutterstock

The third annual Eastern Economic Forum, which advertises investment opportunities in the Russian Far East to foreign businesses and governments, will be held today and tomorrow in Vladivostok.

At last year’s conference, over 200 business agreements—totalling over $26 billion—were signed. This year, expectations have dampened—investment projections are hovering around the $20 billion mark—due to investor uncertainty in sectors hit by new US sanctions this August.

Investment aside, President Putin will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to discuss North Korea. Russia has become more involved in the dispute recently and has clashed with Seoul on possible solutions, particularly over Putin’s support for peace talks without preconditions rather than sanctions.

Compared to the US and China, Moscow is a side player on the North Korean issue. But, Russia’s intrusions into the situation serve to bolster its image, both domestically and internationally, as a global power and a potentially more effective peace-broker than Washington.

It is unlikely that the presidents will reconcile their differences on the issue as a result of this meeting; expect discussions regarding Pyongyang to be rather superficial.