20:58 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Valentina Matvienko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation

    No Grounds for Talks on Far East Island Transfers to Japan

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    Russian upper house of parliament speaker Valentina Matvienko stated that Russia's sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is undisputed, not subject to revision and questioning.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — There is no reason to negotiate the transfer of two or several of the Russian Kuril Islands to Japan, Russian upper house of parliament speaker Valentina Matvienko said Tuesday.

    On Monday, Matvienko arrived in Japan for a four-day visit, and the Japanese lawmakers expressed hope that the visit would help boost bilateral ties.

    "There are no negotiations on the transfer of two or all of the islands, because there are no grounds for this. Russia's sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is undisputed, not subject to revision and questioning," Matvienko told reporters on a visit to Japan.

    The senior lawmakers stressed Russia's well-publicized unchanging stance on the islands.

    "I do not know where different interpretations, different speculations emerge from. Russia's indisputable sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is secured by international legal acts," Matvienko stressed.

    Russia and Japan are working on a mutually acceptable text of a formal peace treaty that is currently being drafted, according to Matvienko.

    "Both Japan and Russia are interested in signing a peace treaty, an entire series of deputy foreign ministerial consultations has taken place. There is measured work on the preparation of a peace treaty text that would be acceptable both to Russia and Japan," Matvienko told reporters.

    Japan and Russia did not sign a permanent peace treaty after World War II due to a dispute over four islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan — the Northern Territories that include Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai.


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