09:09 GMT04 August 2020
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    Japan and Russia discussed Japanese banks making investments in Russia's Arctic projects during the first day of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) near the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday.

    VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the EEF.

    "I think that we have substantially advanced in specifying plans which were discussed as far back as Sochi…The participation of large Japanese banks in financing projects, mainly Arctic ones, was discussed," Ulyukayev told reporters after a meeting between the two countries' leaders.

    The Russian leader arrived in the Far East on Wednesday and will take part in the September 2-3 EEF on the campus of Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island.

    Abe presented a bilateral economic plan during his visit to Russia's southern city of Sochi in May.

    The two countries are getting closer to lifting restrictions imposed on Japanese investors with regards to investing in Russia, as well getting the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to take part in joint projects, the minister added.

    Russian-Japanese trade and economic cooperation are currently limited due to Japan joining anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and their allies after Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

    The sides have also made progress in preparing to activate a joint fund between JBIC and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, according to Ulyukayev.

    The EEF kicked off earlier in the day on Russky Island, near the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. The forum, which is due to run through Saturday, is expected to attract some 2,500 participants, from countries including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Australia, the United States and Singapore.


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