MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Russia maintains the political will to continue talks with Tokyo to search for solutions that will lead to signing a peace treaty, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
"Japan is our partner and we value our bilateral relations," he said. He also stated that Moscow and Tokyo have a "problem in relations."
"We maintain the political will to continue a comprehensive dialog with our Japanese partners so that we find ways of settling this key problem," Peskov said.
Moscow and Tokyo have been holding consultations for decades to conclude a World War Two peace treaty. The main obstacle is the dispute about the rights for the southern Kuril Islands. Following the war, the entire archipelago was made part of the Soviet Union, however Japan disputes the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and an adjacent group of small uninhabited islands. Moscow states that Russian sovereignty over the islands is enshrined in international agreements and is undeniable.
The Kremlin spokesman fielded a question about how Russia’s recent deployment of military equipment in the Kurils will affect Russian-Japanese relations. Peskov said Russia is free to deploy whatever equipment is required at any place in Russia.
The Russian Pacific Fleet said earlier on Thursday that the Bastion coastal missile defense system was deployed in the Matua Island of the Kurils for the first time, and it will monitor the surrounding waterways. A military garrison has been set up on the island.