19 Sep 2017 10:26

Moscow sees security dialogue with Tokyo as relevant amid Korean Peninsula situation - Lavrov

NEW YORK. Sept 19 (Interfax) - Moscow sees dialogue with Tokyo on security issues as quite relevant, especially amid the critical situation emerging on the Korean Peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

"We are pleased to have an opportunity to meet on the UN General Assembly sidelines in New York. We are meeting shortly after our leaders - the president of Russia and the prime minister of Japan - held important talks on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. They were quite constructive, trustful and productive," Lavrov said.

More than 50 agreements, including a convention on removing double taxation, were signed during that meeting, he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also approved five projects as part of joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands.

The exchange of opinions between Putin and Abe on issues concerning international relations, "including security problems in our common region," was "very useful," Lavrov said.

"We believe that constant dialogue between Russia and Japan on problems of security in Northeast Asia is increasingly relevant, primarily in light of the critical situation that is emerging on the Korean Peninsula. This also makes today's opportunity to exchange opinions on these matters and others more valuable," the Russian minister said.

The Japanese foreign minister, for his part, also said that he was very glad to have this new meeting.

He agreed that Russian and Japanese leaders had very substantive and constructive talks in Vladivostok. Kono also said that he intends to promote the five projects that the two leaders singled out.

Former residents of the islands plan to visit their relatives' graves on September 23, he said. The Japanese minister thanked the Russian side for its assistance with this project.

The Russian side is committed to the agreements that were achieved during Putin's visit to Japan back in December 2016, Lavrov said.

"Certainly, we are looking forward to your visit to Russia at the end of November for talks between the foreign ministers and also to attend a session of the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation, which is co-chaired by you and [Russian First Deputy Prime Minister] Igor Shuvalov. The weather will be chilly, but our welcome will be hot," Lavrov said.