Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a joint news conference following Russian-Japanese 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial consultations, Moscow, July 31, 2018
Ladies and gentlemen,
As per the decision of President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, which they adopted during their talks in Moscow in late May this year, we have held the third round of 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial consultations.
Both sides expressed readiness to promote practical interaction in the sphere of security. We share the opinion regarding the extremely complicated situation in the Asia-Pacific Region, as well as throughout the world.
We emphasised the importance of building up mutual confidence in these conditions, as well as promoting cooperation on the subjects on which our countries hold similar or identical views and also in the fields where we still need to coordinate our positions.
We expressed our appreciation at the level of Russian-Japanese cooperation in the fight against new challenges and threats. We agreed to continue to cooperate within the framework of the Russian-Japanese-UN project to provide counter-narcotics training to police officers for Afghanistan and Central Asian countries at the Russian Ministry of the Interior Training Centre in Domodedovo, near Moscow.
We reaffirmed our resolve to work together against terrorism and corruption and for international information security. Next year, Japan will head theG20. We will support the initiatives of the Japanese Chairmanship in all spheres. We have agreed to hold expert consultations on these subjects by the end of this year.
We welcomed the positive trends in the situation concerning the Korean Peninsula. We urge all the countries involved to show restraint and flexibility so as to prevent the disruption of this project, which is still rather fragile. Russia and Japan call for addressing the problems on the peninsula with due regard for the interests of all Northeast Asian countries.
For our part, we again raised our concerns which we have voiced before in connection with the deployment of the global US ballistic missile defence elements in the region.
We exchanged opinions on the situation in the Middle East, including Syria. We focused on humanitarian aspects and the goal of creating as favourable and comfortable conditions as possible for the return of refugees. Japan has shown interest in Russia’s initiative in this sphere, as well as in the Centre for Refugee Reception, Distribution and Settlement, which the Russian Defence Ministry with support from the Foreign Ministry has established in Syria. We have agreed to discuss the goals of removing mines, enhancing humanitarian aid for the Syrian people and rebuilding the infrastructure within the framework of our bilateral contacts with a view to preparing joint initiatives and actions in these areas.
During a separate conversation with my colleague, Foreign Minister Taro Kono, we held a detailed discussion on the implementation of the agreements reached following the May meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, including agreements on building confidence through humanitarian projects, promoting citizen contacts, facilitating communication between our people, as well as boosting our trade, economic and investment ties.
We highlighted the implementation of joint business activities (JBA) on the South Kuril Islands under an arrangement reached by our leaders regarding a peace treaty.
We discussed the implementation of the Russian-Japanese cross-year projects which our leaders announced in Moscow in late May.
Following our talks, we have agreed that the third Japanese business mission will be held between August 16 and 20 jointly with Russian partners as part of preparing joint business activities on the South Kuril Islands. After that business mission, we will coordinate the timeframe for the next round of consultations on JBA within the framework of preparing a peace treaty. We will also coordinate the timeframe for security consultations between our deputy foreign ministers. Our task is to be able to report our achievements in all these spheres to our leaders when they meet at the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in early September.
Overall, I believe that our talks were very beneficial. We reaffirmed our mutual resolve to cooperate on a wide range of current bilateral and international topics. We will continue to maintain our security dialogue through various channels.