MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russia-Japan talks on a post-World War II peace treaty have not reached a deadlock, but clinching a deal will depend on Tokyo's position, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
"So far, everything is hampered by the reluctance of our Japanese colleagues to recognize the results of World War II," Lavrov said at a youth forum outside Moscow.
According to the top diplomat, the Russian side is guided by instructions given by President Vladimir Putin "to continue to develop relations with Japan in all areas."
But Moscow needs to know how free Japan is in its foreign policy, given its strong dependence on the United States, he said.
Lavrov said Russia could not turn a blind eye to the facts that in the United Nations, Japan has voted jointly with the United States against Russia on fundamental issues and that Japan has joined Western sanctions against Russia.
Russia and Japan have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty due to their rival claims to four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
The former Soviet Union took the four islands during the final days of World War II. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the four islands were incorporated into Russia.
The two countries have held rounds of consultations on joint economic activities on the islands in five areas, namely, aquaculture, greenhouses, tourism, wind energy, and waste recycling.
They view cooperation as a step toward a peace treaty, but so far no major breakthrough has been made.