Russian Federation says United States missile systems a risk to regional security

Posted March 20, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu are expected to discuss regional security issues with their Japanese counterparts Fumio Kishida and Tomomi Inada, Efe news reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, second left, Russian.

The two sides said they agreed to keep working toward resolving a longstanding territorial dispute that has prevented the countries from forging a peace treaty officially ending their World War II hostilities.

The six-party talks launched in 2003 aimed to end North Korea's nuclear program via negotiations involving the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea.

The U.S. and South Korea have agreed to install an advanced anti-missile system as a defense against North Korea. Russian Federation also objects to USA missile defense systems in Japan.

Moreover, tension in the region has been on the rise following the recent deployment of the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system in South Korea, something that has been strongly opposed by Beijing and Moscow. The four ministers will also hold joint talks on worldwide and bilateral issues. In November, land-to-air missile systems were deployed on Etorofu and Kunashiri, the largest of the four islands.

Russian Federation has been modernizing its military on the Kuril Islands, which separate the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean and include the disputed islands.

At the beginning of the talks, Akiba said that Japan intends to move forward toward achieving the two countries' common goal of concluding a peace treaty, while maintaining the principle of not undermining each side's legal positions in the joint economic activities.

Inada said during the portion open to the media that it is "significant that the two-plus-two talks will convene for the first time since 2013 amid the severe security environment".

The talks in Tokyo were the two countries' first "two-plus-two" meeting of foreign and defense ministers since Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.