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Russia ready to continue peace treaty talks with Japan, Putin's aide says

MOSCOW, July 3. /TASS/. Russia is ready to continue the talks on a peace treaty with Japan, Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Monday speaking about the expected meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 summit.

"The peace treaty issue is expected to be touched upon," he said, adding that "the Russian side is ready to continue talks on the issue."

According to Ushakov, it is necessary "to create an atmosphere of confidence and cooperation in bilateral relations in order to reach agreements." "For doing this, a comprehensive partnership should be boosted between the two countries," he added.

"The meeting will focus on the discussion of a number of pressing international problems, including the situation on the Korean peninsula, as well as cooperation in multisided organizations," presidential aide said.

Following the Russian President’s visit to Japan on December 15-16, 2016 and his meetings with Japanese PM a joint statement was adopted, which said that the beginning of consultations on joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands would be an important step towards signing a peace treaty by the two neighbors. Also, the sides assume that the statement and any agreements reached on this background on establishing joint economic activities and the implementation of those activities itself will not hurt the positions of Russia and Japan regarding the peace treaty issue.

Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. The settlement of the problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils - Shikotan, Khabomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.