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Lavrov: Russia Will Neither Give Kurils to Japan Nor 'Beg' for Peace Deal

© Sputnik / Sergey Krasnouhov / Go to the photo bankKuril Islands
Kuril Islands - Sputnik International
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Russia has no plans to give the Kuril Islands to Japan and is not going to beg Tokyo for a WWII peace agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty after World War II behind Tokyo's claims to Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets dividing the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.

Moscow maintains that the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty transferring control of the islands to the Soviet Union stipulates Russian sovereignty over the Kurils, which Tokyo classifies as its northern territories.

“We aren’t doing this and we won’t do this, we won’t give the Kuril Islands and we won’t beg Japan for a peace agreement,” Lavrov said during a live linkup on kp.ru.

After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in May, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he suggested a new approach to Kuril Islands' dispute.

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