The following is an excerpt from rt.com | May 8, 2016 |
Not everyone was happy about the three-hour long talks between Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which took place in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.
While for Abe the meeting was diplomatically significant — a chance to discuss the disputed Kuril islands face-to-face with Putin — for the White House, it was an unwelcome fissure in the united front Washington has instructed its allies to construct against Moscow. It was so unwelcome, in fact, that Barack Obama had reportedly asked Abe personally not to go to Sochi at all.
The long-running dispute between Russia and Japan over ownership of the Kuril island chain meant that the two countries never signed a peace treaty after World War II. Russia claims ownership of the strategically important territory under the 1945 Yalta accord and argues that the islands — which Russia refers to as the Southern Kurils and Japan knows as the Northern Territories — were handed over to the Soviet Union with Washington’s blessing. Japan disputes this.
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