Ja­pan must recog­nise all dis­puted is­lands as Rus­sian — Lavrov

The Borneo Post - - WORLD -

MOSCOW: Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said yes­ter­day that Ja­pan must recog­nise Rus­sia’s sovereignty over all of the dis­puted south Kuril is­lands in or­der for peace talks to con­tinue.

Moscow is will­ing to work to­ward a peace res­o­lu­tion pro­vided “Ja­pan’s in­dis­putable recog­ni­tion of the en­tirety of re­sults of World War II, in­clud­ing Rus­sia’s sovereignty over all of the is­lands of the south­ern Kuril chain,” Lavrov said in a brief­ing fol­low­ing talks with his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Taro Kono.

Lavrov said this ba­sic premise is re­flected in the 1956 joint dec­la­ra­tion of the Soviet Union and Ja­pan, which Moscow is will­ing to use as a start­ing point. “This is our base po­si­tion and with­out steps in this di­rec­tion it is very dif­fi­cult to ex­pect move­ment for­ward on other is­sues,” he said.

“Sovereignty over the is­lands is not up for dis­cus­sion, this is Rus­sian ter­ri­tory.”

Lavrov and Kono spoke in Moscow for sev­eral hours in their first meet­ing aimed at speed­ing up the process to­ward a for­mal peace treaty as agreed by Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe in Novem­ber.

Un­usu­ally, the two for­eign min­is­ters did not ap­pear in a joint press con­fer­ence but sched­uled two sep­a­rate brief­ings for the me­dia. Lavrov said this was done at the re­quest of Tokyo.

– AFP photo

Lavrov speaks at the press brief­ing af­ter a meet­ing with Kono.

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