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Lavrov on Kuril islands conflict: Reality fixed at UN Charter

February 18, 2014, 17:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The unresolved issue has prevented Russia and Japan from finalizing a peace treaty marking the end of wartime hostilities
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Border issues with Japan are not a territorial dispute but "proceed from the reality and documents signed between Russia and Japan at different times,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference on Tuesday.

“The reality has it that results of World War Two are generally recognized and fixed in the United Nations Charter. We ought to draw on this reality,” he said, noting "an agreement to continue...to find solutions satisfying both sides and acceptable for both nations. These are criteria.”

No such problems existed with other neighbors on border treaties, Lavrov added. “We have always talked about reality, including post-war reality. This helped us settle these issues.”

The disputed Kuril Islands, known by this name in Russia, are located in Russia's Far East, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean and known by Japan, which claims them as theirs, as the Northern Territories.

Clashes over sovereignty date from the end of World War Two, when Soviet forces annexed the archipelago. Russia continues to administer the islands.

The unresolved issue has prevented Russia and Japan from finalizing a peace treaty marking the end of wartime hostilities.

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