MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November, presidential aide Yury Ushakov said Friday.
“Contacts on the sidelines of multinational events are possible, so a meeting with the Japanese premier is also possible,” Ushakov said, adding that such meetings do not fully replace a bilateral meeting.
“Prime Minister Abe invited Putin [to visit Japan], but there were no discussions via diplomatic channels on when such a visit will take place. Media speculations are far from reality,” the Kremlin official said.
Earlier the same day, Abe confirmed he hoped to meet with Putin. He also said he was looking forward to continue dialogue with Moscow.
The Abe government said earlier that a final decision would be taken after considering various factors.
Since Abe entered office in 2012, he has held multiple summits with Putin aiming to improve economic relations and to resolve the Kuril Islands dispute. However, as the situation in Ukraine started to deteriorate, Japan, along with the United States, the European Union and other members of the Group of Seven industrialized nations introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement.
The Japanese sanctions are the softest compared to those imposed by other G7 nations as Tokyo is seen as unwilling to ruin relations with Russia.