UPDATE: Putin: Russia, Japan want to sign peace treaty
(Adds comments in paragraphs 6–14)
VLADIVOSTOK, Sep 12 (PRIME) -- Russia and Japan want to sign a peace treaty by the end of the year, as favorable conditions should be created in the region, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at the Eastern Economic Forum.
“First of all, I want to say that (Japanese Prime Minister) Shinzo (Abe) is right: both he and I – we want to sign a peace treaty. I think that it is extremely important both in our bilateral relations, and in terms of creation of favorable conditions for the development of the situation in the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping just said about it. We should create favorable conditions in the world. And I completely agree with it,” Putin said.
“Japan is our natural partner, and we want to develop full-scale relations,” he said.
Putin said he believed that all disputed issues between Russia and Japan should be solved after the signing of the peace treaty.
“And then, based on this peace treaty, as friends we will continue to solve all disputed issues. I think that this would simplify solvation of all problems which we have not been able to solve for 70 years,” he said.
A representative of Japan’s Foreign Ministry told PRIME that the Japanese government refrains from commenting on Putin’s calls to sign a peace treaty until the end of the year.
“The Japanese government is aware of the mentioned statement by Putin. We refrain from commenting on President Putin’s public statements. But there are no changes in the Japanese government’s (commitment) to persist in negotiating a peace treaty following resolution of the issue of ownership of the four northern islands (four South Kuril Islands: Iturup, Kunashir, Habomai, and Shikotan),” the representative said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Morgulov said that talks with Japan over the signing of a peace treaty could take place this year, and Russia is ready for them.
“We’re ready, this will depend on when our Japanese friends are ready,” he said.
Dialogue with Japan will be held in the current regime, at the level of deputy foreign ministers, Morgulov said, adding that work on the signing of a peace treaty was never interrupted.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund’s (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that it would be easy for Russian and Japanese companies to cooperate if a peace treaty was signed.
The Sakhalin Region’s Governor Oleg Kozhemyako said the treaty would positively affect the regional economy.
State-owned Vnesheconombank’s (VEB) CEO Igor Shuvalov said that relations between Russia and Japan will develop regardless of whether a peace treaty is signed by the end of the year.
Yevgeny Serebrennikov, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s defense committee, said the parliament will support a peace treaty if Putin submits the document for ratification.