Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Vladimir Putin offers Kuril Islands peace deal to Japan's Abe

Vladimir Putin offers Kuril Islands peace deal to Japan's Abe

A treaty without preconditions would leave Russian Federation in control of the disputed islands, which Russian Federation calls the Southern Kuriles and Japan calls the Northern Territories.

"We have been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years".

The Russian leader, whose tardiness has become legendary, kept Abe waiting during a Russia-Japan summit at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Monday, Kyodo News and Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

"It seems to me that this would facilitate the solution of all problems which we have not been able to solve during the past 70 years".

He also made clear that they should fight unilateralism and trade protectionism worldwide, .in an apparent response to the Trump administration's trade policies.

Photos showed Putin and Xi, wearing blue aprons, pouring out the batter and turning the pancakes over before eating them with caviar and a shot of vodka.

The top government spokesman also said Japan will not change its position of seeking to resolve the issue of the islands' sovereignty, before concluding the peace treaty with Russian Federation.

Shinzo Abe also said the living generation has the responsibility to "completely remove the post-war scenery" from the region.

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"Both countries are trying to signal: If the United States pushes too far, we are going to move closer to each other", Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, told the Washington Post. "Let's conclude a peace agreement - not now but by the end of the year, without any preconditions", Putin said.

Upon returning to power in 2012, Abe took a firm position on Japan's claims to the disputed island chain, aggravating tensions with Beijing.

Russian commentator Georgy Kunadze, a former deputy foreign minister, told Ekho Moskvy radio that he believes Putin was "trolling" Abe and "does not expect anything" to result from the proposal.

"This stance hasn't changed", he added.

According to Peskov, Putin did not discuss this initiative with Abe after putting it forward at the Eastern Economic Forum's plenary meeting. The two leaders have launched various economic projects on the islands in areas such as the farming of fish and shellfish, wind-generated energy, and tourism.

FILE - Fishing boats are seen near the village of Rybaki on Iturup Island, in the Russian Far East, Aug. 20, 2011.

Lying near the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the territory was taken over by Red Army troops in the final days of World War II.

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