'We don’t trade in territories' – Putin on Kuril dispute

'We had a treaty signed in 1956 and surprisingly it was ratified both by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and by the Japanese parliament' - Putin.

'We had a treaty signed in 1956 and surprisingly it was ratified both by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and by the Japanese parliament' - Putin.

Ramil Sitdikov/RIA Novosti
Moscow is, however, open to compromises, Vladimir Putin told Bloomberg.

Ruling out the return of the Southern Kuril Islands, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sept.1 that Moscow was open to the idea of a compromise with Japan.

“We don’t trade in territories,” Putin told Bloomberg in an interview. He added that Russia “would very much like to find a solution to this problem with our Japanese friends.”

“We had a treaty signed in 1956 and surprisingly it was ratified both by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and by the Japanese parliament,” Putin said. “And then the Japanese side refused to implement it, and after that the Soviet Union also, so to say, nullified all agreements reached within the framework of the treaty.”

When asked about an agreement in 2004, under which Russia ceded the Tarabarov Island and half of the Bolshoi Ussuriski Island on the Amur River to China as a final settlement of the border dispute between the two countries, Putin said, if Russia could reach a similarly high level of trust” with Japan as it enjoys with China “then we can find some sort of compromise.”

The Soviet Union seized the Southern Kuril Islands in the closing stages of the Second World War.

Japan claims the islands, which Tokyo refers to as the Northern Territories, insisting on their return as a precondition to signing a World War 2 peace treaty with Russia.

Read more: Putin-Xi meeting will be the main Russian highlight at the G20 summit​

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