In his address at the Eastern Economic Forum on the afternoon of Sept. 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed launching an intergovernmental working group among Russia, Japan, and South Korea to facilitate a plan to build power grids connecting the three countries. With regard to exporting electricity to Japan, South Korea, and other Asian countries, Putin noted that “Russia is ready to offer electrictiy at competitive prices” and expressed his commitment to realize this plan.
Japanese, South Korean, and Russian businesses have been looking into the feasibility of an “energy bridge” which would connect Northeast Asia, including Japan, via underwater power grids. [Putin] has proposed lowering electricity rates in the Russian Far East to Russia’s national average rates as part of measures to improve the investment climate in that part of the country.
South Korea President Park Geun-hye, who took the podium after Putin, also expressed her intention to promote the energy bridge vision. She noted that South Korea would facilitate cooperation with Russia in fields such as seafood processing, housing development, and medical technology. (Abridged)