Russian Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov commented on the statement made by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on before the talks with Vladimir Putin. According to RIA Novosti news agency, it is the speech in which the Prime Minister spoke about the fate of the residents of the Kuril Islands after their transition to Japanese jurisdiction. “They have complicated the negotiation process, that's for sure,” stated Ushakov on Russia TV.
A few days ago, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry drew attention to Abe’s statements. They pointed out that the discussion of the islands transition under Japanese jurisdiction is "a dangerous distortion of the essence of the agreement aimed at speeding up the negotiation process between Moscow and Tokyo."
Earlier, Abe, who is to arrive in Russia on January 21, expressed the hope that the upcoming talks with Putin would allow them to reach a solution that would suit both parties on the conclusion of a peace treaty. He stressed that the lack of agreement impeded the potential economic development of the two countries.
Russia and Japan have not yet signed a peace treaty after the end of the Second World War. Moscow insists on maintaining the current border between the two countries. However, Tokyo is seeking the return of the four islands of the South Kuril ridge: Shikotan, Iturup, Habomai, and Kunashir which belonged to Japan before the Second World War.