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MOSCOW, January 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow is ready to work with Tokyo toward creating a favorable atmosphere for a dialogue on a peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Japanese news agency Kyodo Tsushin here on Thursday.
“We see the task of diplomacy in not just pointing out the existing differences but in trying to find the approaches bringing the sides closer,” the minister stressed, “and, the main thing, in doing this in such a way that not even serious differences in views could interfere with the development of bilateral relations to the benefit of the states concerned.” “It is precisely from this viewpoint that we approach the problem of a peace treaty existing in relations with Japan,” he said. “We are ready to work jointly with Japan toward creating a favorable atmosphere in our relations that would lead in perspective to an affective dialogue on the conclusion of a peace treaty.”
What is needed for this, we believe, Lavrov said, is, “first of all, that our partners should take objective view of existing realities, above all of the fact that the south Kurile Islands, to which you refer as the ‘Northern territories’, became part of our country on legal grounds on the basis of the results of the Second World War,” the minister said. “This is registered in the United Nations Chapter, and our sovereignty over these territories is not to be questioned.”
“Second, it is not worth ‘rocking the boat’ of Russian-Japanese relations,” the minister said. “In particular, there should be no public comments and ostentatious actions of various kind contradicting the realities already mentioned,” he noted.
“Third, there is a need for a broad unrestricted comprehensive Russian-Japanese interaction in the economy, humanitarian area and international relations,” he went on. “What I mean is the establishment of joint economic activities on the south Kuriles, for which purpose Russian legislation offers every opportunity,” he said.