Russia Halts Peace Treaty Talks with Japan


Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)--Russia has declared a halt to its talks with Japan to resolve their territorial dispute and conclude a World War II peace treaty, in response to Japanese sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia "does not intend to continue peace treaty talks with Japan because it is impossible to discuss this fundamental document on bilateral relations with a state that holds an explicitly unfriendly position and seeks to harm the interests of our country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said Moscow has decided to suspend a program to allow visa-free visits by Japanese people to four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, and pull out of talks on joint economic activities there.

"Russia's unilateral decision on the discontinuance is extremely regrettable," an official at the Japanese Embassy in Moscow said. "We definitely cannot accept it."

"The invasion of Ukraine is a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force that shakes the foundation of international order," the official continued. "We strongly protests Russia's unilateral announcement and its attempt to lay the blame on Japan."

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