VLADIVOSTOK, Russia President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that his country is ready to take decisive steps to resolve a seven-decade territorial dispute with Japan over a string of Pacific islands controlled by Russia.
"The past should not be an obstacle to moving forward," Putin told a business forum in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, where he shared a stage with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "We have to think how to get rid of problems which do not allow us to move forward."
He added that while Russia was ready to act decisively in pursuit of a solution to the row, all steps had to be thoroughly thought through.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Christian Lowe)