Economy

Vladimir Putin offers Kuril Islands peace deal to Japan's Abe

Vladimir Putin offers Kuril Islands peace deal to Japan's Abe

President Vladimir Putin suggested Wednesday that Russian Federation and Japan sign a peace treaty this year, ending World War II hostilities "without any preconditions" as a territorial dispute has led to decades of deadlock.

Russian Federation calls the islands the Kurils, while Japan calls them the Northern Territories.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted China's Xi Jinping in Vladivostok - as well as the Japanese and South Korean leaders - at the three-day Eastern Economic Forum.

Since the mid-20th century, Russian Federation and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II.

He also made clear that they should fight unilateralism and trade protectionism worldwide, .in an apparent response to the Trump administration's trade policies. In the declaration, Moscow agreed to return Shikotan and the Habomais to Tokyo once a formal peace treaty was signed.

Proposed by Putin in 2015, the EEF represents Russia's efforts to push forward cooperation in the Far East.

Putin made the surprise offer in public, sitting next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a stage at an economic forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok on September 12. "It is not a joke".

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"Let us walk together mindful of the questions 'If we don't do it now, then when?' And 'If we don't do it, then who will?'" Abe said.

"Both countries are trying to signal: If the United States pushes too far, we are going to move closer to each other", Alexander Gabuev, chairman of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, told the Washington Post.

"We've been trying to solve the territorial dispute for 70 years".

Xi and Putin had their third meeting in four months, charting the future course of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and exchanging views on major global and regional issues, Wang said. "It is called trolling. Putin does not expect anything", Kunadze told Echo of Moscow radio station.

President Vladimir Putin suggested Wednesday Russia and Japan sign a peace deal "without any preconditions" by the end of the year, a historic proposal to try to solve a territorial dispute after decades of deadlock.

A Japanese government spokesman said the country's stance had not changed.

Yet Putin's move comes less than 24 hours after he cooked pancakes alongside Xi with both presidents insisting that their "friendship was getting stronger all the time".


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