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MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Kremlin expects new contacts between President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on interaction on the Kuril Islands.
"During their recent contacts in Japan Prime Minister Abe and President Putin agreed to continue intensive dialogue on different levels, including top level. That is why we expect new contacts between Putin and Abe next year," Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters commenting Prime Minister Abe’s statement on his plans to come to Russia in the early 2017 to continue talks on the Kuril Islands issue.
Peskov did not name any concrete dates of the future contacts.
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abe said he plans to visit Russia early next year to hold talks on a peace treaty.
"I want to use a convenient moment to improve relations," Abe said during his lecture in Tokyo.
Speaking about the territorial dispute, the Japanese Prime Minister noted that if Japan does not take "a new approach," it won’t be able to resolve the problem. He added that the development of economic relations is "a short way" to settle the peace treaty issue, which takes time.
Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Japan on December 15-16. Abe said Putin’s visit "gave a new impetus and prompted a new rise in the Russian-Japanese relations."
The talks resulted in signing a joint statement saying in particular that "start of consultations on joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands could become an important start towards conclusion of a peace treaty."
The parties proceed from the fact that the statement, any progress made on the basis of the agreement on development of joint economic activities and its implementation "do not pose damage the positions of Russia and Japan on the issue of a peace treaty."