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Japan’s Abe and Russia’s Putin to hold summit on June 29th 2019.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to hold a summit meeting on June 29, when Putin visits Japan for a meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 nations.

According to a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made on FridayMarch 31st 2019, senior officials and political leaders from both countries have held talks frequently in recent months with an aim of discussing ways to put an end to a decades-old territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty.

“With eyes on the Russia-Japan summit meeting at the time of the G20 summit in Osaka, we made checks on the state of progress in Russia-Japan relations,” Lavrov told reporters after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono.

Japan claims a string of Russia-controlled western Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuriles in Russia. The territorial row over the island chain, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, disheartened diplomatic relations ever since, impeding any formal peace treaty between the two countries.

However, Lavrov believes that talks with Japan on five joint economic activity projects on the disputed islands were proceeding at a good pace even though he did not make any elaboration.

Previously, in 2016, Abe and Putin agreed to launch talks on joint economic activities on the islands as a step toward concluding a peace treaty.

The territorial talks between the two top leaders have been deadlocked for months, and no major breakthrough is expected for the Lavrov-Kono meeting this time.  Meanwhile both Kono and Lavrov said the two countries agreed to push for the denuclearization of North Korea.

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