19 Dec 2019 16:44

Moscow, Tokyo to discuss ways of reconciling their positions on peace treaty - Lavrov

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - The foreign ministers of Russia and Japan have tasked their deputies with discussing ways to reconcile the stances of both countries on the peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Considering the well-known positions of the parties, we have tasked our deputies overseeing bilateral relations with discussing in detail ways of reconciling our approaches," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow following talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

"We believe there is no alternative to the search for accords, which would meet the interests of both countries and be supported and accepted by the people and parliaments of Russia and Japan," he said.

"I think that today's discussion is further evidence that there is only one way to go, and our leaders have said this: our goal should be achieved through boosting relations to a brand new level and comprehensively developing Russian-Japanese relations in every field, including in the economy, investments, humanitarian contacts, security, and certainly, positions on the world stage," Lavrov said.

The two foreign ministers "have received clear instructions from the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister to expedite their work on the peace treaty on the basis of the 1956 Declaration, which, as you know, is an integral part of international laws affirming the results of WWII," he said.

Motegi said, in turn, that the conclusion of the peace treaty "is not an easy task, which has been on the agenda for almost 75 years."

"The current situation in which Japan and Russia, important partners in the Asia Pacific region, are lacking a peace treaty can be described as follows: imagine the world map as a big puzzle which is missing a very important piece. When we insert this piece into its place, the partnership between Japan and Russia will be solid and will contribute to the development and stability of East Asia and the world as a whole," he said.

Motegi said that he presented his considerations about future peace talks to Lavrov at their meeting. "Then we were able to have a detailed exchange of opinions and a dialogue on ways of continuing our discussion, so that we could overcome the differences between our fundamental positions," he said.