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Russia Refuses to Discuss Peace Treaty With Japan

© Sputnik / Vitaly BelousovThe Moscow Kremlin.
The Moscow Kremlin. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia is refusing to continue negotiations on peace treaty with Japan over Tokyo’s sanctions against Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"The Russian side, under the current conditions, does not intend to continue negotiations with Japan on the peace treaty as it is impossible to discuss the signing of a fundamental document on bilateral relations with a state that takes openly unfriendly positions and seeks to harm the interests of our country," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also said that Russia is blocking extension of Japan’s status as a sectoral dialogue partner in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

"Given the obvious unfriendly nature of the unilateral restrictions imposed by Japan against Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine, the following measures are being taken. The Russian side is withdrawing from the dialogue with Japan on establishing joint economic activities in the southern Kuril islands," the ministry said, adding that Russia is banning visa-free trips of Japanese citizens to the southern Kuril islands.

Japan lays claim to the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai islands in Russia’s Kuril Island chain, known in Russia as the Southern Kurils, citing an 1855 bilateral treaty on trade and borders. Moscow insists that its sovereignty over the islands, which became part of the USSR after WWII, is undisputed.
The negotiations held after WWII never resulted in a peace treaty. In 2018, Japan and Russia agreed to speed up negotiations.
However, Japan joined Western countries in imposing sanctions against Russia as Moscow began a military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. The decision to start the operation was made in response to calls for help from the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
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