SINGAPORE, November 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama have agreed to decide on signing a peace treaty without links to other issues, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.
Medvedev and Hatoyama held a meeting on Sunday at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore.
"In previous years, the predecessors of Mr. Hatoyama tried to link progress in this or that area, first of all in the economy, to progress they wanted to see on the issue of a peace treaty. The new government does not pursue such linkage in its policy," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister said that Moscow welcomed this approach.
"The issues of signing a peace treaty and the so-called territorial problem were also discussed. On our part, we supported the stance of Prime Minister Hatoyama and his government that we must move simultaneously in all directions," Lavrov said.
Tokyo's continued claim over four South Kuril islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) has so far prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty to end World War II hostilities.
Hatoyama told Medvedev in September he wanted to resolve the dispute with Russia, and sign a peace agreement.
Hatoyama said that the issue must be resolved "in our generation in order to form new relations between Japan and Russia."