Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Foreign Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, Tokyo, March 20, 2017
Minister, Your Excellency,
Thank you very much for your invitation to attend today’s events and for organising them. I believe that it is very important for us to maintain regular, proactive and meaningful contacts.
Such contacts are vital for keeping under personal control the implementation of agreements that were reached during the visit by President of Russia Vladimir Putin to Japan in December 2016.
During the second part of the meeting we will once again meet in a two-plus-two format (Russian and Japanese foreign and defence ministers). For me, a meeting in this format is quite timely and relevant, since we need to discuss in this format and hopefully harmonise our positions on a number of international and regional security issues.
We are now offered a wonderful opportunity to discuss bilateral matters, including the schedule of top-level contacts and preparations for these events.
We have plans related to economic, cultural cooperation and educational exchanges, including in the key areas of cooperation that were discussed by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
Of course, we are looking forward to hearing a report by our respective deputy foreign ministers on the meeting in Tokyo two days ago. This was held to explore opportunities for engaging in joint economic activity in the southern Kuril Islands as part of our combined effort to put the prerequisites in place for signing a peace treaty. This will be an important and interesting report.
All in all, we are ready to work.