Russia refutes peace deal with Japan at APEC summit

September 2nd, 2012 - 10:48 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 2 (IANS) Russia has declined to settle the peace treaty issue with Japan during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the sovereignty of four disputed Pacific islands which are called Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuril islands in Russia.

Interacting with students from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the territorial disputes and the relevant problem of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan would not be settled within the APEC framework, Xinhua reported.

“No interstate, political or legal agreements are considered within the APEC by definition,” Lavrov said Saturday, adding the 21 member regional organisation has been operating as a forum for economic negotiations “since its very beginning”.

The territorial row has blocked a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.

Lavrov, however, told students that the absence of a peace treaty would not hamper the development of Russia-Japan bilateral ties in general.

The summit is being held between Sep 2 and 9.

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