MOSCOW Dec 13 Russia wants to boost bilateral
ties with Japan on all fronts and hopes to reach a peace treaty
with its eastern neighbour, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on
Tuesday, adding however that agreeing a peace treaty needed
Ushakov was briefing reporters before Russian President
Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan later this week.
A territorial dispute between Tokyo and Moscow over a chain
of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end
of World War Two, has upset diplomatic relations ever since,
precluding a formal peace treaty between the two countries.
"The president has already said that our country is not only
ready but interested in resolving this long-running problem. ...
But we believe this is quite a long process, which requires
scrupulous work aimed at boosting trust," Ushakov said.
He also said the arrest of former Economy Minister Alexei
Ulyukayev, who had been deeply involved in bilateral ties with
Japan, would not affect dialogue between Moscow and Tokyo.
Ulyukayev was dismissed and put under house arrest in
November over allegations he extorted a $2 million bribe from
Russian oil producer Rosneft. Ulyukayev denies the
charges against him.
Ushakov said that Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor
Shuvalov had worked on promoting bilateral ties between Russia
and Japan, as well as Ulyukayev.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Alexander Winning)