Islands row no obstacle to talks with Japan: Russia

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Moscow does not rule out the Russian president meeting the Japanese premier at a summit this month, despite Tokyo's anger over his visit to the disputed Kuril isles, a source in the Kremlin said Tuesday.

Medvedev will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Japan later this month and may meet Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Kremlin source as saying.

"We do not see any obstacles to a meeting with the Japanese premier," the source told the agency.

A source in the foreign ministry also said that Russia was unconcerned by Japan's decision on Tuesday to temporarily recall its ambassador, a day after summoning the Russian ambassador to Tokyo.

"We do not see a problem for us," the source was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Medvedev early Monday flew into the island of Kunashir in the first visit by a Russian leader to the isles, claimed by Japan in a dispute that has prevented a post-World War II peace treaty between the two neighbours.

The Kuril Islands, which lie north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II, but Tokyo claims the southernmost four as Japanese territory.

© 2010 AFP

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