MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Authors of reports in the Japanese press about unknown statements by Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev about ownership of the southern part of the Kuril Islands indulge in wishful thinking to strengthen their position in the negotiations on a peace treaty, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The purpose of these bogus pseudo-sensational materials on the problems of the peace treaty between Russia and Japan is obvious - try to strengthen the Japanese position in the negotiations on the basis of regular speculation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry indicated that the sovereignty of Russia over all the southern Kuril Islands is undeniable, and the peace treaty should be based on Japan's recognition of the results of World War II in full, including the southern Kuril Islands. "Any insinuations on this subject, especially with links to the ‘private archives’ of the former Japanese leadership, are inappropriate," the ministry emphasized.
The ministry recalled that the priority at the current stage is to develop the Russian-Japanese cooperation in order to bring bilateral relations to a new level.
On Wednesday, Japanese newspaper Asahi reported that Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev during the talks with Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in October 1973, allegedly verbally admitted that the problem of the southern Kuril Islands was one of the "unresolved issues" between the two countries after the end of the World War II. The newspaper claimed that this was stated in the official recording of conversations between the two leaders, made by employees of the Japanese Foreign Ministry with the "top secret" stamp.