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Ukrainian president may visit Japan ahead of G7 summit

February 17, 2016, 9:33 UTC+3 TOKYO
1 pages in this article
Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko

© Carsten Koall/Getty Images

TOKYO, February 17. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may visit Japan ahead of the next Group of Seven summit in late May to hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday citing diplomatic sources.

"Tokyo has been trying to maintain a balance in its ties with Moscow and Kiev, and the United States has been especially wary about Japan getting too close to Russia," the sources said.

Abe plans to convey the united support of the G7 economic powers for Ukraine in his meeting with Poroshenko, according to the report.

Poroshenko’s visit could come ahead of the arrival of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Tokyo. Lavrov is due to pay an official visit to Japan in mid-April, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Japan has been stepping up high-level talks with Moscow in an effort to resolve a long-standing territorial dispute over four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils, which Tokyo calls its northern territories.

"Abe hopes to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin around May 6 in Russia to set the stage for Putin's visit to Japan, which has been postponed due to the Ukrainian crisis," Japanese government sources said.

The summit of G7, which groups the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, will be held in the city of Shima, located in the Ise Shima national park in Mie Prefecture facing the ocean.

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