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    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands before  their meeting during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013

    Mutual Visits of Russian, Japanese Leaders Suspended Over Tokyo’s Sanctions

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    Russia's top diplomat noted that Moscow "highly appreciates the relations with Japan and the Japanese people despite that they were frozen primarily due to the fact that Tokyo had been forced to follow the sanctions against Moscow.

    MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — Mutual visits by Russian and Japanese leaders were suspended because Tokyo had been forced to impose sanctions against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "It is sad that last year these relations froze, primarily due to the fact that Japan was forced to follow the anti-Russian sanctions, although perhaps not in such an aggressive form, like some other members of the Western world," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.

    Russia's top diplomat noted that Moscow "highly appreciates the relations with Japan and the Japanese people."

    Lavrov added that Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision whether to visit to Japan would be made when Tokyo specifies the time frame for the invitation.

    In 2014, the Ukrainian crisis had an impact on Russia's relations with a number of countries, as Moscow was accused of participating in the military conflict in the southeast the country.

    Japan was one of the countries that followed the lead of the United States and imposed sanctions against Russia's banking, energy and military sectors, as well as some high-ranking individuals.

    In early November 2014, the Russian president met briefly with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing to discuss cooperation between the two countries.

    The two leaders agreed to continue working together and to promote trade and economic projects. Following the meeting, Putin praised the progress made in developing Russian-Japanese relations, which he said had improved both economically and politically.

    On December 31, 2014, Putin expressed his readiness for talks with Abe on deepening relation with Japan and to engage in active collaboration with the country on a wide range of regional and international issues.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe, Russia, Japan
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