Russia condemns 'unacceptable' actions in Japan over islands

11th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Friday told his Japanese counterpart recent actions in Japan over a Pacific islands dispute were unacceptable, at the start of talks aimed at quelling tensions.

"To be honest, I expected to receive you in Moscow against a better backdrop," Lavrov bluntly told Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara as he opened the talks in Moscow.

"Your visit comes against the background of a series of completely unacceptable actions," he added.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan had called President Dmitry Medvedev's unprecedented visit to the Kuril islands in November an "unforgivable outrage" while a rifle bullet was mailed to the Russian embassy in Japan.

Maehara did not directly respond to Lavrov's comments saying that "we would like to promote a variety of subjects to develop our relationship further."

The Kurils, which lie just north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945 but their status remains a major problem in Moscow-Tokyo relations.

© 2011 AFP

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