MOSCOW, January 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted an invitation from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit the country, a date of the visit is not set yet, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference reviewing the results of 2013 here on Tuesday.
“President Putin accepted an invitation from the Japanese prime minister to visit the country,” he said. “I am convinced that we will agree on a date of this visit suitable for both sides,” Lavrov noted.
“Deeper cooperation (with Japan), promotion of multifaceted partnership in all spheres without exclusion, namely economy, culture, contacts between people, particularly in foreign political sphere will provide necessary prerequisites to deal closely with settlement of the issue of peace treaty,” the Russian foreign minister noted.
“This problem was left to us in heritage, this is no easy, affects the most sensitive strings from both sides, and as our leaders agreed long ago it should be settled so that this settlement will meet interests of Russia and Japan,” the minister noted.
Lavrov acknowledged that “this is no easy task, but the first step should be taken.” “We resumed talks on a peace treaty, preliminary consultations were held in Moscow in August, first round of these consultations should be held in Tokyo in a few weeks, historical aspects of this problem will be considered with consent between both sides,” the minister noted.
“Political contacts between parliaments, different agencies, including the Foreign Ministries, are quite intensive,” he stated. “Talks at top level have intensified recently, four top level meetings were held in the previous year, including the official visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Russia,” Lavrov noted.
“I am convinced that contacts between our leaders will continue in the near future, not quite far future,” the minister added.
Speaking on bilateral cooperation in general, the Russian foreign minister noted that Russia is interested to continue to step up cooperation with Tokyo. “We see major potential in this cooperation. Practically all leading Japanese carmakers launched their productions in Russia. Companies in the fuel and energy sector are cooperating closely in Sakhalin and other projects and are developing humanitarian ties,” Lavrov added.