Meeting of leaders of Russia and Japan in Thailand

Questions of bilateral relations, specifically in the trade and economic sphere, large-scale projects in the fuel and energy sphere, the project of setting up an oil pipeline through the Russian port of Nakhodka on the western coast of the Sea of Japan in particular, as well as the North Korea question are being discussed at the meeting of president of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi, a source in the Russian delegation said.

According to him, a greater part of time is devoted to discussing the trade and economic questions with due account for Mikhail Kasyanov's visit to Japan scheduled for December.

Vladimir Putin and Junichiro Koizumi will meet in Bangkok on Monday, where the Russian president and the Japanese Prime Minister are taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

The source believes that Japan "will touch upon the issue of building the pipeline via Nakhodka." In this connection, he pointed to the Russian stance: first, it is necessary to calculate the resource base. "Russia will determine the route of this oil pipeline when the volume of explored reserves is known," the source noted.

He also said that these issues are of a purely practical nature for Japan.

Speaking about the problems of North Korea, the source did not rule out that the leaders will discuss this issue in the context of a possible adoption of a separate statement concerning the DPRK at the APEC summit. He also emphasized that Japan submitted, and the USA and South Korea supported, the draft of a separate tough and harsh statement of the APEC leaders on the DPRK. China believes that if this statement is adopted the six-side format of consultations on the North Korean problem may cease to exist.

According to the source, the position of Russia is closer to the Chinese one on this issue.

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