Peace treaty to be ‘difficult’, says Russia’s Foreign Minister

World - Mohit Shah - Dec 05,2016

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peace treaty to be difficult says russias foreign minister

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated that, it would be difficult to fill the gaps on territorial issues during the expected peace treaty with Japan. 

This statement by Sergei Lavrov came on Saturday during a joint meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister in Moscow. "It's not easy to bridge the gap in the principal positions of both sides, the problem is difficult," were the exact words by the Russian Foreign Minister.

A territorial friction between the two neighboring nations has been prevailing since many years. The chain of western Pacific islands which were captured by the Soviet troops during World War II, has been a serious matter of dispute that has restricted the formation of a formal peace agreement between Japan and Russia.

However, Lavrov extended his statement and expressed positive hopes for solving practical subjects that would help to strengthen the level of cooperation between the two countries.

On the other hand, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also shared similar thoughts regarding the decades-old-issue. He believes that, the matter regarding the four islands cannot be resolved in a single meeting. Abe said on Monday, he wants the issue to be discussed candidly with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Japan on December 15-16.

The foundation of this mutual readiness was laid in September during Putin’s meet with Shinzo Abe in Russia’s port city of Vladivostok. The two leaders had agreed to extend economic ties and work in harmony for the development of a peace treaty before Putin’s visit in December.

Any form of concession over the islands would be a risky step for Putin but it could enhance Japanese investment in Russia, which in return can benefit both the countries. Moscow is seeking an urgent dose of cash due to struggling global oil prices as well as Western sanctions; establishment of Japanese ventures might prove fruitful.