Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says resolving Russia's relations with Japan requires that Moscow live up to a 1956 Soviet Union treaty transferring two southern Kuril Islands to Tokyo.
Mr. Lavrov told the Russian NTV television network today (Sunday) that as the successor state to the Soviet Union, Russia must sit down with Japan to implement the never-completed transfer of the islands.
The foreign minister said Russia was able to settle its border issues with China only after the two countries built what he called "a strategic partnership." He said a similar approach must be taken to Russian-Japanese relations, and a peace agreement must be signed between the two nations.
The Kuril island chain in the Sea of Okhotsk runs from Russia's eastern Kamchatka peninsula to Japan's island of Hokkaido.