During the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” broadcast on Russia 1 TV channel, Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of Russian President, said that in the negotiations with Tokyo, Moscow’s basic task is to conclude a peace treaty with Japan rather than find a solution to the issue of the Kuril Islands.
“Our basic task is to conclude a peace treaty, not to give or receive anything,” TASS quoted Peskov as saying. “We need to end World War 2 and sign a peace treaty with a very important partner of us in the Far East,” he added.
According to Peskov, the fact that Tokyo supports the sanctions regime against Moscow creates an obstacle for concluding a peace treaty. “This is one of the issues and one of the situations that hinder, greatly hinder the conclusion of a peace treaty,” said the press secretary of Vladimir Putin.
According to Peskov, Russian authorities record “a very powerful breakthrough in the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Japan”. “All of this strives to help us conclude a peace treaty,” Peskov said.
For 70 years now, Russia and Japan have not been able to conclude a peace treaty since the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. The conclusion of an agreement is greatly hindered by the issue of disputed territories. Referring to the Treatise on Trade and Borders of 1855, Japan insists that Russia give the Kuril Islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup and Habomai to Japan. Meanwhile, Russia claims that the islands became the territory of the USSR based on the results of World War 2.
Speaking at a meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum in Singapore last fall, Putin proposed to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to conclude a peace treaty between the two countries “like friends”, “without any preconditions”. According to the initiative of the Russian president, the sides would later resolve all disputes in accordance with this agreement. In response to Putin’s proposal, Abe said that Japan and Russia would conclude a peace treaty only after resolving the issue of the Kuril Islands.
In January, the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister continued talks in Moscow. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to instruct the foreign ministers of Russia and Japan to continue negotiations on a peace treaty.