Lavrov: Russia’s sovereignty over Kurils not negotiable

Lavrov: Russia’s sovereignty over Kurils not negotiable

Russia’s sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is non-negotiable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following the first round of  talks with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono.

"We pointed out to our Japanese friends that the sovereignty over the islands was non-negotiable," he said. "This is Russia’s territory," the top Russian diplomat stressed.

Lavrov said that major differences still remained between Moscow and Tokyo as far as the peace treaty issue went.

"I will be frank, we do have serious discrepancies. Initially, our positions were poles apart, and we have said it more than once. But the political will of our leaders to normalize relations between Russia and Japan is a stimulus to invigorate this dialogue," TASS cited Lavrov as saying.

He stressed that Japan did not make any objections to Russia’s statement that the results of World War II are not subject to review. 

"I clarified Russia’s position on the results of World War II in detail. I pointed out that apart from the Treaty of San Francisco, some other documents and the [Soviet-Japanese] Declaration of 1956, which draws a final line under World War II and should be read in conjunction with the Treaty of San Francisco, there is also an important document such as the United Nations Charter. Its Article 107 recognizes the results of World War II as they were outlined by the allies. We reiterated it to our Japanese colleagues and heard no objections," the Russian Foreign Minister added.

The minister noted that following the talks, Russia and Japan have agreed to look at new projects of joint economic activities on the Kuril Islands. "We have agreed that our corresponding ministries will work out more daring projects to see visible results of our joint economic activities," Lavrov added.