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Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Moscow next week

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Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow next week after a recent failed attempt for a peace treaty between the two countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that his meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono didn’t produce any concrete result, and threw cold water on Tokyo’s hope for a quick return of four Pacific islands.

Lavrov warned Japan that the peace talks should be based on Japan’s full recognition of the aftermath of World War II, including Russian sovereignty over all the Southern Kurils, Agence France-Presse reported.

Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims to the Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

“This is our basic position and without a step in this direction it is very difficult to expect any progress in other issues,” Lavrov said.

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said in Moscow that the two foreign ministers had a “serious and frank exchange” but did not comment on the details of the negotiations, Xinhua News Agency reported.

“There are differences of positions,… we will work to get the positions closer,” Takeshi Osuga told journalists.

He confirmed that Putin and Abe would meet in Moscow next week.

In Tokyo, Abe said he wants to have a “candid and thorough discussion with Putin to advance the peace treaty talks “as much as possible”.

“President Putin and I share the strong will to end the issue which had been left for over 70 years after World War II,” Abe said on Tuesday at a gathering of senior government and ruling bloc officials, during which he confirmed a four-day trip from Jan 21 to Moscow and Davos, Switzerland.

The Kremlin’s press service confirmed the news on the same day as well, saying the two leaders will talk about the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries.

According to the Kremlin, Abe will be in Russia on a working visit at the Russian president’s invitation.

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