Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday offered an olive branch to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a proposal for a peace treaty without any preconditions by the year end.
Russia and Japan were unable to sign a peace treaty after World War II due to a dispute on Kuril Islands located between the two countries.
This treaty would become a basis for resolving all controversial issues, Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
“We have been negotiating for 70 years. Shinzo said: 'Let’s change our approach.' Let’s do it. So here's the idea I came up with: let's conclude a peace treaty -- not now, but before the end of the year -- without any preconditions. And then, on the basis of this peace treaty, as friends, will continue to decide all disputed issues," Putin said.
The Soviet Union seized four islands of the Kuril chain in 1945 and refused to return them after the war. Russian authorities are concerned over possible deployment of U.S. missile systems on the islands in case of their return to Japan.