LIMA, November 20. /TASS/. Absence of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan is an anachronism but the way towards it is far from a simple one, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday as he addressed reporters upon completion of the APEC summit in Peru.
"I think it's pretty obvious for Japan and Russia likewise the absence of a treaty of this kind an anachronism of the past, which impedes our movement forward, our development," he said. "All the more so that Russia and Japan are absolutely natural partners for each other in the region and they compliment each other in a natural way or could do so if their relations were be based on a peace treaty that, unfortunately, doesn't exist so far."
Putin believes that both Russia and Japan would like to see conclusion of a treaty of this kind.
"But the road to it is far from a simple one," he said.
Discussions of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan testify to the progress in relations between the two countries,Putin told reporters:
"The very fact we’re arranging contacts, including the ones with Japan, is a testimony of certain moves forward in our relations," Putin said. "And if you take preparations for the visit [the Russian President’s visit to Japan - TASS], they are just beginning and that’s why it’s too early to speak about them for the time being."
"If you take into account the discussions we’ve resumed with our Japanese friends regarding the peace treaty, this already means definite progress," he said when a reporter asked him about preparations for the visit.
In the course of the summit, Putin had a meeting on the sidelines with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders discussed preparations for the summit scheduled for December, the presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
He added that the Japanese foreign minister was expected to come to Russia soon.
Putin said at the meeting the trade turnover between Russia and Japan shrank by 36% from January through June 2016 compared with the same period in the previous year.
He explained for this by the general situation on the world markets and by the "aftermaths of political steps on the part of third countries."
Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters earlier Russia and Japan had coordinated the dates of the visit and it would take place on December 15-16.