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    Moscow Has No Plans to Broach Sanctions Issue During Putin's Visit to Japan

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    The Russian side does not plan to initiate discussion of anti-Russian sanctions during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan, and Russia has never asked any country to lift the restrictions or discuss them, a high-ranking diplomatic source said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Putin's visit to Japan will start December 15. The visit is seen as a breakthrough in Russia-Japan relations taking into account that it has been delayed since 2014.

    "Russia has never asked to lift the sanctions or discuss them. But they hinder," the source said when asked whether there were plans to discuss the issue of sanctions during Putin's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Russia considers it important to restart dialogue with Japan in the 2+2 format, including foreign and defense ministers, and is ready to hold such talks in Moscow in the nearest future, the source said.

    "We confirm the importance of the Russia-Japan dialogue in the 2+2 format. We do not rule out that the leaders of the countries will agree to hold such talks. We are ready to hold them in the nearest future in Moscow," the source said.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin
    © AFP 2019 / IVAN SEKRETAREV / POOL
    Russian-Japanese relations have deteriorated after Japan decided to join the sanctions, imposed on Russia by the Brussels, Washington and their allies in the light of Crimea's reunification with Russia in 2014 and on the pretext of Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.

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    sanctions, Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe, Japan, Russia
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