18:48 GMT15 May 2021
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin says he will discuss the dispute over the South Kuril Islands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and that a compromise is possible provided there is a "high level of trust."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Japan and Russia have never signed a permanent peace treaty after World War II due to a disagreement over four islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories. The disputed islands, located in the Sea of Okhotsk, were claimed by Soviet forces at the end of the war.

    Speaking in a Thursday interview with Bloomberg, Putin stressed that "we don’t trade in territories," but added that Moscow "would very much like to find a solution to this problem with our Japanese friends" and that "some sort of compromise" can be achieved if Russia "can reach a similarly high level of trust" with Japan as it currently has with China.

    "We’re not talking about some exchange or some sale, we are talking about finding a solution where neither of the parties would feel defeated or a loser," Putin told Bloomberg ahead of his meeting with Abe that will take place at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) near Russia’s Far East city of Vladivostok.

    According to Putin, a compromise with Japan is not closer than it was in 1956, when the Soviet–Japanese Joint Declaration, which reestablished diplomatic ties between the sides after the Second World War, was signed, but dialogue on the Kurils issue is ongoing.


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