Putin Says Russia Is Open to Dialogue with Japan

Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Pool via REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, October 5, 2023.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that his country is open to dialogue with Japan if Tokyo asks for it, to normalize bilateral relations that have been strained since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a meeting in Sochi, Putin indicated that Japan needs to take steps, such as removing its sanctions on Russia, if it wants to normalize ties between the two countries.

In response to a question from Taisuke Abiru, senior research fellow at Japan’s Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Putin said Russia has neither imposed sanctions on Japan nor closed the door to dialogue.

It is always good to have dialogue if Tokyo thinks that the time has come that makes dialogue meaningful and that it can take an initiative, Putin said.

Putin did not refer to outstanding issues between the two countries, including a decadeslong territorial dispute over Russian-controlled northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan.