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MOSCOW – Russia said on Sunday it would not hold annual talks with Japan on renewing an agreement allowing Japanese fishermen to fish near the disputed islands, citing Japan as taking anti-Russian measures. Stated.

The islands of Hokkaido in northern Japan, known as the Kuril Islands in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan, have been at the center of decades of tension between neighboring countries.

“In the context of the anti-Russian measures taken by the Japanese government…the Russian side has informed Tokyo that it cannot agree to hold intergovernmental consultations on the implementation of this agreement,” RIA state news agency reported. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Japan, a major US ally, imposed sanctions on a number of Russian individuals and entities shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year.

On Friday, it tightened sanctions against Russia in response to Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian cities.

Russia in June suspended a 1998 agreement that allowed Japanese fishing vessels to fish near the islands, and Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said at a news conference on Monday that fishing activities could begin this year. Japan said it would request Russia to participate in annual talks.

But Russia’s foreign ministry said there would be no improvement in relations unless Japan showed “respect”.

“In order to return to normal dialogue, Japan’s neighbors should show our country basic respect and a desire to improve bilateral relations,” the foreign ministry said, according to the RIA news agency.

Russia and Japan have not formally ended World War II hostilities because of a dispute over islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war.Reuters Russia denies talks with Japan on fishing near disputed islands

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