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Russia drops peace treaty talks with Japan

Moscow: Russia will no longer continue peace treaty negotiations with Japan in response to Tokyo’s sanctions against Moscow over the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry here said.

Moscow will also cancel visa-free travel for Japanese citizens to the four disputed Pacific islands, which are known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying in a statement on Monday.

The Russian side is withdrawing from the dialogue with Japan on establishing joint economic activities in these islands, the statement said.

Russia will also block the extension of Japan’s status as a sectoral dialogue partner of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, it added.

Along with Western countries, Japan has imposed tranches of sanctions on 76 Russian individuals, seven banks, and 12 other bodies, including defence officials and the state-owned arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned Russia’s move and said that “this entire situation has been created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Russia’s response to push this onto Japan-Russia relations is extremely unfair and completely unacceptable”.

Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims over the four islands.

The islands were seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War Two, and Russia claims the acquisition was as fair as any international change of boundaries after the war.

Japan has disputed this.

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