Russia's Putin tells Japan's Abe: Let's sign peace deal this year

Leroy Wright
September 14, 2018

President Putin also stressed the importance of bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Moscow and Seoul, citing the 27 percent increase in trade volume between the two countries last year, and the 8 percent increase in the first half of this year.

But, at a time when Russian Federation is pressured by Western sanctions, and state coffers are strained - to the point where Moscow has been forced to implement hugely unpopular pension reforms to make up budget shortfalls - it was not clear what percentage of those deals were foreign investments.

Suga also said Putin had not mentioned the proposal during a summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.

The main obstacle to signing a peace treaty is Tokyo's long-standing claims to the southern part of the Russian Kuril Islands, collectively known in Japan as the "Northern Territories".

While Moscow has said the drills will not take place on the contested islands, Abe told Putin that Japan is "keeping a close eye on" them, according to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami quoted by Kyodo.

"I and President Putin share the view that it is an abnormal situation that Japan and Russian Federation have not concluded a peace treaty although more than 70 years have passed since the end of the war", Abe said. "We are both fully aware that it will not be easy".

Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev visited Kunashir in 2010, becoming the first Russian leader to do so and provoking fury in Tokyo. "Let's conclude a peace agreement by year's end without any preconditions". And a senior Japanese official sniffed, according to the Japan Times, that Putin's apparently off-the-cuff remark was "unofficial." .

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It kept the two countries from signing a peace accord.

"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".

While politics stole the limelight, the forum is primarily a political entity.

"Within the framework of the forum 100 business events were held", Trutnev said, noting that more than 6,000 delegates and 1,300 media representatives participated in the event.

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon further delivered President Moon's words to invite President Putin to South Korea in the near future.

Xi said: "China has always been and is still a participant in development projects in the eastern part of Russian Federation".

Trade turnover between Russian Federation and China increased 50 pe cent in the first half of 2018 with the total expected to reach $100 billion by the end of the year.

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