Medvedev to discuss Kurils issue with Japanese premier

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will raise the issue of the disputed Kuril islands at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on the sidelines of the G8 summit, a Kremlin aide said on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will raise the issue of the disputed Kuril islands at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on the sidelines of the G8 summit, a Kremlin aide said on Wednesday.

Arkady Dvorkovich declined to predict whether the two leaders would make any progress on the issue.

The lengthy dispute over the islands has so far prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal WWII peace treaty. The islands were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of the war.

The Japanese parliament recognized the four southern islands of the Kuril chain as "historical" Japanese territory on July 3. Russia's upper house of parliament retaliated on Tuesday by asking the president to consider ending the visa-free system between Japan and the islands, which has been in force since 1992.

The leaders of the G8 will meet in Italy's L'Aquila on July 8-10.

 

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