TOKYO — Japan denounced Russia on Tuesday over its decision to discontinue peace treaty talks over the disputed Kuril islands and withdraw from joint economic projects in retaliation for Tokyo’s sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The two countries never signed a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities because of their dispute over the Russian-held islands north of Hokkaido, which Moscow took at the end of the war.
“The latest situation has been all caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters Tuesday. He called Russia’s response “extremely unjustifiable and absolutely unacceptable.”
Japan has imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in recent weeks, including freezing some individual assets, banning exports of luxury goods and high-technology equipment to the country and revoking Russia’s most favored nation trade status.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— Associated Press video journalist gives riveting first-hand account of the siege of Mariupol
— Russia demands Mariupol lay down arms but Ukraine says no
— ‘No city anymore’: Mariupol survivors take train to safety
— Biden warns US companies of potential Russian cyberattacks
Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage
KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian army said it forced Russian troops out of Makariv, a strategically important Kyiv suburb, after a fierce battle. That prevents Russian forces from encircling the capital from the northwest, the Defense Ministry said.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday he was prepared to discuss a commitment from Ukraine not to seek NATO membership in exchange for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security.
“It’s a compromise for everyone: for the West, which doesn’t know what to do with us with regard to NATO, for Ukraine, which wants security guarantees, and for Russia, which doesn’t want further NATO expansion,” Zelenskyy said late Monday in an interview with Ukrainian television channels.
He also repeated his call for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unless he meets with Putin, it is impossible to understand whether Russia even wants to stop the war, Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy said that Kyiv will be ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the eastern Donbas region held by Russian-backed separatists after a cease-fire and steps toward providing security guarantees.
LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces shelled along a humanitarian corridor on Monday, wounding four children who were among the civilians being evacuated, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nighttime video address to the nation. He said the shelling took place in the Zaporizhzhia region, the initial destination of those fleeing Mariupol.
The Ukrainian government said that about 3,000 people from Mariupol were evacuated on Monday.
Zelenskyy said he spoke with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and French President Emmanuel Macron to coordinate their positions before Western leaders meet on Thursday.
“Our position will be expressed and will be expressed strongly, believe me,” Zelenskyy said.
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