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MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Japan should stay calm in discussing the peace treaty and make no preconditions or unilateral historical links, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told new Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba by phone on Friday.
“Koichiro Gemba raised the issue, and [the Russian minister] stated that the peace treaty conversation must be calm and devoid of preconditions and unilateral historical links,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Broad bilateral cooperation in all spheres, not the statements by Japanese officials claiming ‘Russia has no legal rights to own’ the South Kuril Islands, should be the background of this conversation. Russia is prepared to develop this cooperation... and closer coordination in Asia Pacific security with due account of Russian initiatives,” the ministry said.
Lavrov congratulated Gemba on taking the ministerial position.
In turn, Gemba thanked Russia for assisting the cleanup of the man-made and natural disaster in Japan of March 11, 2011, and stressed the importance of the relations with Russia for Japan.
“We intend to deepen cooperation in modernization, energy and other mutually beneficial projects, as well as interaction in the provision of security in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
The ministers agreed to continue contacts on the sidelines of large international events planned before the end of this year.