MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - Head of the State Duma (lower chamber of the Russian parliament) Committee on foreign affairs Konstantin Kosachev reaffirmed Russia's readiness to sign a peace treaty with Japan.

"The document, as the Russian President stated repeatedly, can be signed as soon as both sides agree. We stated our desire to do so on numerous occasions," Kosachev announced on Monday during a press conference at RIA Novosti.

"The ball, so to speak, is in Japan's court," the Russian parliamentarian added.

Speaking about next week's visit of the Russian foreign minister to Japan and possible behind-the-scenes negotiations on the issue of the transfer of two out of four disputed islands to Japan, Kosachev said, "Russia must not come up with any initiatives on this issue."

He pointed out again at the fact that Russia continues the discussion of the territorial issue voluntarily.

Kosachev voiced an opinion that the sides would not be able to reach the final agreement on the territorial dispute any time soon.

Answering the question about the possible date of Putin's visit to Japan, Kosachev stated, "There is no point conducting a visit for the sake of appearances."

"I do not think it is ready," the State Duma deputy underlined. Although, he said, "after Sergei Lavrov's visit to Japan such a possibility might arise."

Kosachev told the reporters about intensive work on the preparation of Lavrov's visit. "We have reliable information about the preparation of a package of serious documents for the upcoming summit. It includes about ten documents," Kosachev emphasized.

The majority of issues on the agenda of the visit include Russia's accession to the WTO, joint efforts in the sphere of energy, measures against illicit trafficking of goods at sea, joint fight against terrorism, Kosachev added.

Kosachev also said there was no territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. He called the opinion that the 1956 Declaration between Japan and Russia obliges Russia to return two disputed islands to Japan a mistake.

"It is an unacceptable interpretation. The declaration envisions possible transfer of the islands on certain conditions, including the signing of a peace treaty," he said.

"Japan lost the disputed islands as a result of its defeat in World War II," he added.

"The attempts to come up with legal revision of the status of these islands lead to a direct revision of the results of World War II, which is absolutely unacceptable," Kosachev stressed.

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