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Moscow ready for joint activity with Tokyo on Kurils under Russian laws — MP

A Russian senior lawmaker says time needed for dialogue on setting parameters for Russia-Japan peace treaty
Iturup Island, the Kuril Islands Vladimir Sergeyev/ITAR-TASS
Iturup Island, the Kuril Islands
© Vladimir Sergeyev/ITAR-TASS

TOKYO, November 1. /TASS/. Russia will be prepared for joint economic activity on the Kuril Islands with Japan, conducted under Moscow’s jurisdiction, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told a news conference in Tokyo.

"We will be prepared for various formats of economic activity on the Kuril islands," Matviyenko said, adding that "such joint economic activity can proceed only under Russian jurisdiction and Russian laws."

Russia had already formulated its proposals addressed to the Japanese counterparts regarding possible economic cooperation on the Kurils, she said.

"I am certain that these proposals will be discussed further. I believe that both Russia and Japan should be interested in this," Matviyenko added.

She sees quite a few opportunities for this. "I do hope that at a certain stage we will be able to agree on the formats of such joint economic activity on the Kuril Islands," she believes.

Russia’s sovereignty over Kuril Islands indisputable

According to the lawmaker, Russia’s sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is beyond doubt.

"Russia’s position is well-known, it remains unchanged. I don’t know where the interpretations and speculations come from. Russia’s indisputable sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is confirmed by international and legal acts. Russia cannot give away its sovereignty over the Kuril Islands," Matviyenko said.

"There are no talks on handing over two or all islands as there are no grounds for that," she stressed.

The lawmaker noted Russia and Japan are holding consultations on drafting a peace treaty.

"Consultations (on the peace treaty) are actively being held between both countries’ deputy foreign ministers. No doubt, patience and hard work are needed here. Time is needed to start speaking about certain parameters of such a peace treaty," Matviyenko said.

Matviyenko said the sides should search for mutually acceptable solutions for concluding a peace treaty. "This is the essence of talks taking into account modern reality - to find such a solution that would suit both parties."

The upper house speaker expressed confidence that the Russian and Japanese diplomats "are able to find a mutually acceptable version of a peace treaty." Russia and Japan should make every effort not to miss a chance of opening a new page of cooperation, she said. "For this it is important to create the atmosphere of trust and parliamentarians are also working on it."

Putin's visit to Japan

The Japanese Foreign Ministry commented on the Russian president’s visit to Japan following Matviyenko's talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"An exchange of views was held on all aspects of bilateral relations, including the preparation for the visit of President (Vladimir) Putin to Japan. Besides, the issues of stepping up inter-parliamentary cooperation were discussed," the ministry said in a statement.

Matviyenko said she hopes that Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan due to take place in December will yield a number of intergovernmental agreements.

"Intensive consultations are currently underway between our economic ministries. We hope that by the president’s visit some of these projects will be selected and supported. A number of intergovernmental agreements in various spheres are on the agenda, they are being worked on," she said after talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

According to Matviyenko, the two countries’ foreign and economic ministries and the governmental commission are working on these draft agreements. "We hope that some of these intergovernmental agreements and other documents will be signed already during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in December," she underscored.

She noted that the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister will have an opportunity to see each other on the sidelines of an APEC meeting in Rome. "I think they will specify the agenda and will issue more instructions to the relevant ministries and agencies," she added.