VLADIVOSTOK, September 12. /TASS/. Moscow and Tokyo will continue to work on the peace treaty in a constructive and friendly manner, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
He reiterated that earlier on Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the initiative to sign a peace treaty between Russia and Japan until the end of the year without any preliminary conditions. "It is planned to sign the peace treaty first, and then, proceeding from relations of peace, friendship and cooperation, reach the needed consensuses," the Kremlin spokesman noted.
"It is clear that there may be nuances of our Japanese partners, and it is clear that each side is proceeding from its own positions, but President Putin is determined to solve this problem, and President Putin highly values [Japanese] Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to develop friendly relations and implement the plan of eight items [on the development of cooperation between Russia and Japan] and a great number of projects based on this plan."
However Vladimir Putin’s schedule for his visit to Vladivostok will not allow him to discuss his peace treaty initiative with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"Today’s schedule does not include it [such a discussion]," he said.
According to Peskov, Putin did not discuss this initiative with Abe after putting it forward at the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary meeting.
Putin said at the plenary meeting earlier in the day that Moscow and Tokyo should make a peace treaty without any preconditions before the end of the year.
Peace treaty issue
Since the mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan has laid claims to the four southern islands. In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, however, a peace treaty has still not been reached. Moscow has stated many times that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands could not be questioned.