Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Japan for deadlock over disputed Pacific Ocean islands. In spite of this situatiun Moscow was ready to continue talks. More than 50 years two countries couldn’t solve this problem.
The dispute over the four islands seized by the Soviet forces in the closing days of World War II which Russia calls the Kurils and Japan refers to as the Northern Territories has prevented the two nations from signing a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.
Putin said that Japan had initiated the discussion of a 1956 Soviet-Japanese declaration under which Moscow had agreed to return two of the islands but backed off when the Kremlin agreed to honor the commitments meaning Tokyo would not be able to lay claim to the two remaining islands.
"Several years ago, we returned to this declaration on the Japanese initiative," Putin said. "After certain considerations and consultations here in this country, we decided to meet them halfway. And then, sometime later, we heard that Japan does not want that. Why raise the issue, then?"
Putin said Moscow had never planned to give up control of the islands but softened his statement by saying Russia was ready to continue looking for a resolution. " Japan is our important partner," Putin said. "We want to solve all problems left over from the past and we will search for ways to solve these problems", reports the AP.
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