Tokyo should recognize Russia's sovereignty over Kurils to conclude peace treaty - Lavrov
Japan should recognize Russia's sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands so that both countries can move towards signing a peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Saturday, TASS reports.
Russia’s top diplomat thus commented on a statement by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga that the Japanese government would continue negotiations with Russia on a peace treaty proceeding from its baseline position: first to settle the territorial problem and then to conclude a peace treaty.
"With all the respect for the Chief Cabinet Secretary, we are nonetheless guided by the agreements that are reached at the highest level between the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister. They have agreed to move forward in discussing the problems that remain, proceeding from the 1956 declaration, which clearly states that first Russia's territorial integrity and sovereignty over all our lands, including those territories, are recognized, thus recognizing the results of World War II, and then everything else will possibly be discussed," Lavrov said.