Russia: Xi, Putin Meet at Eastern Economic Forum

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Putin made the proposal on Wednesday at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

Speaking at the economic conference in Vladivostok earlier on Wednesday Abe said he and Putin share an opinion "that this is not normal" that the two countries still have not signed a peace treaty.

But a Japanese government spokesman said Japan's position had not changed and that the issue of sovereignty over the islands needed to be resolved before signing any treaties with Russian Federation.

The annual EEF was established by a Decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015 for the goal of encouraging foreign investment in the Russian Far East, which has land borders with China and North Korea, as well as maritime borders with Japan and the US.

Talks between Abe and Putin are "moving toward a peace treaty" (Reuters) and resolution of the islands disagreement.

"This stance hasn't changed", he added.

Abe and his officials may have not been pleased - the Japanese were "dealt a setback" because of Putin's delayed arrival, according to reports.




Chinese leader Xi Jinping was challenged to show his cooking skills by host Vladimir Putin, when the Russian president invited his guest to try a traditional dish: pancake with caviar chased down with a shot of vodka.

Abe told Putin that Japan is "keeping a close eye on" the development, Nogami said, without elaborating further on their exchanges.

"It would be naive to think that it can be solved quickly", he said after meeting Mr Abe on the sidelines of the forum on Monday.

Abe smiled at the suggestion.

The "nine bridges'" include cooperation in shipbuilding, arctic shipping, seaports, energy and natural gas, as well as railways, jobs, agriculture and fishing.

Relations between Moscow and Tokyo have tensed recently, after Russian military operations in the Kuril Islands drew Japanese criticism, as the archipelago is also claimed by Tokyo.

Xi's arrival in Vladivostok marked the first time a Chinese leader has participated in the annual event, and the third meeting between Xi and Putin in 2018.

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