The Institute of Russian Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies was established as the Institute of the Soviet Union and East European Issues on January 13, 1972 in Seoul. In those days, the international community was dominated by cold war ideology, which made any communication or exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Communist bloc virtually impossible. The IRS was the first research center that began collecting and examining periodicals from the Soviet Union, North Korea, and other socialist states. Being the only Soviet Union and East European Issues research institute in Korea, the IRS was able to obtain an unrivaled position in this field. In a country where little research was being conducted on socialism, the IRS exerted a strong influence on the direction of these studies, leading the discourse on communism. From the early 1990s the IRS began to narrow its research subjects to Russia and the CIS region. Concentrated studies on the economies, politics, societies and cultures of the CIS region and Russia became the focus of the Institute. In 1993, the Institute officially changed its name to the Institute of Russian Studies, and in July of 1999, due to space constraints, the IRS relocated to Hankuk University’s Global Campus in Yongin.
The IRS regularly invites distinguished scholars from Russia and other parts of the world to give special talks.
Invited speakers come from diverse academic fields, including politics, economics, and literature.
Continuing from last year, the Russian Institute (Director: Pyo Sang-yong) is carrying out a project to build a Korea-Russia think tank network this year.
This project will be carried out for approximately six months from July to December this year with the purpose of promoting exchange and cooperation between major think tanks in the two countries. A roundtable was held with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Russia's representative think tank, and an international academic conference was held with the Moscow University of International Relations (MGIMO) and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) under the Russian Academy of Sciences. International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and an academic seminar will be held during the project period. Through academic conferences, Korean and Russian experts in various fields discuss detailed agendas such as diplomacy, international security, and the global economy to seek ways to promote cooperation between the two countries. Director Pyo Sang-yong of the Russian Institute emphasized that it is very important to continue academic and cultural exchanges in Korea-Russia relations, which have been strained since the start of the Ukraine war, and that it is meaningful for the Russian Institute to play that role.
Among the Korea-Russia think tank network construction project, academic conferences and seminars are planned to be held in Moscow in October and are being cooperated with local organizations.
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