Russia halts Japan peace treaty talks over sanctions

Russia says it is abandoning talks with Japan aimed at signing a formal peace treaty, because Japan has joined in sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

They did not formally end World War Two hostilities because of a dispute over small islands known in Russia as the Southern Kurils and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

Russia’s foreign ministry says its move freezes discussions on joint economic projects for the islands and halts visa-free visits to them by Japanese citizens.

“All responsibility for the harm to bilateral co-operation and to the interests of Japan itself lies with official Tokyo, which deliberately chose to pursue an anti-Russian course,” the ministry said.

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