1/14, 1:41 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Lavrov calls for closer relations with Japan

Sergei Lavrov‌, minister of foreign affairs of Russia, told reporters on Monday that the government is entering negotiations with Japan about the long-awaited peace treaty in line with a new level of relations. Speaking in Moscow after meeting his counterpart Taro Kono, he acknowledged the joint business projects in the disputed Kuril Islands are being developed at "a very modest" pace, but that the two sides intend to agree new activities. However, he added, Russia's sovereignty is not part of the discussions and it can't accept different references in official documents.

The Kremlin doesn't recognize any serious barriers to the introduction of a visa-free regime and the regulations could be first mended for people in Russia's Sakhalin and Japan's Hokkaido, according to the top diplomat. President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to meet this month, he asserted, while the government in Tokyo is expecting Putin to come in June.

The minister expressed belief that the dialogue is improving, compared to the earlier "diametrically opposite" positions. Lavrov criticized the United States for setting up missile defense systems in Asia's Far East. He also said he is satisfied with Kono's stance about the Treaty of San Francisco from 1951 and other arrangements regarding the outcome of World War Two.

Breaking the News / IT