World / Asia-Pacific

No peace treaty with Japan at APEC: Russian FM

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-09-02 07:50

MOSCOW - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday Moscow would not settle the peace treaty issue with Japan during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

During a meeting with students from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Lavrov said the territorial disputes and the relevant problem of a peace treaty between Russia and Japan would not be settled within the APEC framework.

"No interstate, political or legal agreements are considered within the APEC by definition," Lavrov said, adding the 21 member regional organization has been operating as a forum for economic negotiations "since its very beginning."

Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the sovereignty of four disputed Pacific islands which are called Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuril islands in Russia.

The territorial row has blocked a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.

Lavrov told students the absence of a peace treaty would not hamper the development of Russia-Japan bilateral ties in general.

"We do not see any obstacles to the development of our relations even in the absence of a peace treaty," said the official.

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