12:22 GMT18 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kremlin spokesman Peskov commented on reports in Japanese press on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge not to deploy US bases in the Kuril Islands, saying that the issue of Tokyo’s allied commitments was important during the discussion of a peace treaty with Russia.

    "We have already reported on the basic understanding that was reached, on agreements to intensify the negotiation process on the basis of the 1956 Declaration," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that he would not like to disclose the details of the conversation and noted that Putin and Abe had talked about the peace treaty tete-a-tete.

    READ MORE: Abe Promised Putin No US Bases on Disputed Islands If Receives Areas — Reports

    The official stressed that the only thing he could confirm was that the issue of Japan’s allied commitments was "quite important in the context of discussing the peace treaty", and "Japan has allied obligations to its allies." 

    Peskov's comments follow Putin and Abe meeting in Singapore held on Wednesday, during which the two leaders agreed to intensify the bilateral peace treaty talk. Following the talks, the Russian president said that Abe expressed readiness to discuss the peace accord on the basis of the 1956 declaration.

    Japan has for years maintained that the Kuril Islands should be recognized as a part of its territory as a precondition for signing the peace treaty with Russia, which was never concluded after World War II.

    On Protecting Soldiers at Azov Sea 

    Dmitry Peskov also commented on the issue of Azov Sea stressing that the Kremlin does not rule out the possibility of Russia taking measures to protect its sailors there. 

    "I cannot say right now. The situation is certainly being closely monitored, and in strict accordance with international law of the sea, with international law, of course, measures can be taken to protect the interests of Russian sailors and Russian legal entities and individuals," Peskov told reporters when asked if Moscow could take any actions to protect Russian sailors in the Sea of Azov.

    READ MORE: US to Avoid Sea of Azov, to Keep On Operating in Black Sea Region — Admiral

    The spokesman's statement comes as Ukraine's state border service has detained 15 vessels for "illegal entry into the ports of occupied Crimea."


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    declaration, peace treaty, World War II, Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe, Dmitry Peskov, Sea of Azov, Japan, Russia, Kuril Islands
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