Russia is not setting itself any “artificial deadlines” for signing a peace treaty with Japan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the end of the 55th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.
“Russia has no artificial deadlines whatsoever. We are calmly explaining to our Japanese colleagues that nothing of the sort can be planned,” he said. “We will proceed on the basis of the 1956 Declaration.”
“This stipulates an incontestable first step towards signing a peace treaty,” the Russian minister explained. “Which, in turn, as the Russian position states, means that our Japanese neighbors have no alternative but to acknowledge the outcomes of World War II, including Russia’s sovereignty over all the Kuril islands, including the four islands of the small Kuril chain.”
Lavrov noted that the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Japan, Igor Morgulov and Takeo Mori, will consult about the peace treaty over the coming weeks, and that a round of strategic dialog is scheduled for 2 April.
“[Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono] and I agreed to continue working. We have deputies who, by order of the Russian President and the Japanese Prime Minister, are involved in this work between the foreign ministers’ meetings,” Lavrov said. “The deputies will have this kind of contact in the coming weeks, and then we will decide on a new meeting of the ministers in Japanese territory”.
“In parallel, the strategic dialog on the level of the first deputy ministers of foreign affairs is developing, the next round will take place on 2 April,” the minister noted.
There is also one more format in which the deputy ministers are discussing matters of security and mutual concern about threats in North-Eastern Asia, Lavrov added.