The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that the move is taken in response to the “obviously hostile nature” of the unilateral sanctions introduced by Tokyo against Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that Moscow is ending negotiations with Tokyo on a peace treaty, along with a series of other measures, as a result of the “obvious hostile nature” of the unilateral sanctions introduced by Japan against Russia . for his military operation in Ukraine.
“The Russian side, under the current conditions, does not intend to continue negotiations with Japan on a peace treaty due to the impossibility of discussing the signing of the document, fundamental for bilateral relations, with a state that takes openly hostile positions. and seeks to harm the interests of our country,” reads the agency’s statement.
In parallel, for Japanese citizens the possibility of traveling to Russia without the requirement of a visa comes to an end. An advantage that they had and that was established, until now, with two agreements. The first, “based on visa-free exchange agreements between the South Kuril Islands, in the Russian Federation, and Japan,” dated 1991, and the second, which was signed to “facilitate as much as possible the visits of former residents Japanese from the South Kuriles to their former residences”, signed in 1999.
Russia will stop negotiations with Japan on a peace treaty that would officially end a conflict dating back to World War II, after Tokyo imposed unprecedented sanctions over President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine https://t.co/WZavLBvXZm
— Bloomberg (@business) March 22, 2022
In addition, Moscow abandons its dialogue with Tokyo, aimed at establishing joint economic activities in the South Kuril Islands, and blocks the extension of Japan’s status as a partner of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC, for its acronym in English) “in sectoral dialogue.
“All responsibility for the damage to bilateral cooperation and Japan’s own interests rests with Tokyo, which deliberately chose an anti-Russian stance instead of developing mutually beneficial cooperation and good neighborliness,” the Ministry concludes.
For his part, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared on Tuesday that Japan considers “totally unfair and unacceptable” the interruption of talks on the peace treaty with Russia. “We are not going to change our course towards solving the problem of the northern territories (as Japan refers to the South Kuril Islands) and concluding a peace treaty,” he added.
What about the peace treaty?
The peace treaty between Russia and Japan has not been signed because the Japanese side claims from Moscow the islets of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai -which form the South Kuril archipelago-, which became part of the USSR at the end of World War II.
In 1956, Japan and the USSR signed a declaration that ended the state of war between the two countries, and Moscow agreed to hand over Shikotan and Habomai to Tokyo after signing a peace treaty, something that has not yet been finalized. produced.
Although Japan ratified that declaration, it later abandoned its implementation and demanded the return of the remaining South Kuril Islands —Iturup and Kunashir— before the signing of the peace treaty, based on the Bilateral Trade and Border Treaty that the Japanese country signed with Japan. Russia in 1855.