19 February 2019

Russian, Japanese foreign ministers may meet in Munich

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Japan’s government started the final stage of the coordination of a new round of negotiations between Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the Munich Security Conference, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday. reports citing Russian Media that, if agreed, these negotiations may be held on February 16, the news agency said. They will focus, according to Kyodo News, on whether the sides will manage to develop by June - when Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting Japan - any specific provisions for the framework agreement which will further lead to the signing of the peace treaty.

The Munich Security Conference will be held on February 15-17. Last time Lavrov and Kono met in Moscow on January 14.

The galvanization of cooperation

The agreement to galvanize negotiations on the peace treaty was reached between Putin and Abe last November in Singapore, when the sides agreed to use the Joint Declaration as of October 19, 1956, as the basis. It stipulates the end of the state of war between the two states and the restoration of diplomatic and consular relations. The Soviet government also agreed to give to Japan Shikotan Island and some small uninhabited islands of Lesser Kuril Chain under the condition that they will be transferred under Tokyo’s control after the signing of the peace treaty. The declaration was ratified by the two states’ parliaments on December 8, 1956.

In response to the conclusion of the treaty on security signed between Japan and the US in 1960, the Soviet Union annulled its obligations on the transfer of the islands. A Soviet government’s memorandum dated January 27, 1960, said that these islands will be transferred to Japan only under the condition of the withdrawal of all foreign armies from its territory.

2019.02.12 / 14:37
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