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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Press Conference by the Prime Minister regarding a Summit Telephone Talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin

February 17, 2022

[Provisional Translation]


(On the summit telephone talk with Russian President Putin Vladimir)

A short while ago, I had a summit telephone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin to exchange views on the situation around Ukraine. I told him that Japan is monitoring the situation around Ukraine with grave concern, and that a solution acceptable to the countries concerned should be pursued through diplomatic negotiations, rather than a change of the status quo by force. In response to President Putin's explanation of Russia's position, I re-emphasized the necessity of resolving the issue through diplomatic efforts. President Putin and I also shared the view to continue dialogue on Japan-Russia relations including a peace treaty and on regional and international situations including Ukraine. Japan will continue to monitor the situation around Ukraine with grave concern, while making persistent diplomatic efforts to pave the way for de-escalation. Through cooperation with the international community, including the G7, we will respond appropriately, depending on the actual situation. Thank you.

 (On the exchange of views on possible economic sanctions in the event of a military invasion by Russia)

We exchanged views regarding our respective ideas. I would like to refrain from going into details. In any case, we exchanged views based on the principle that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations and efforts.

 (On whether the talk touched upon the Northern Territories issue and how Japan's diplomacy with Russia should proceed in the future).

During the negotiations, we exchanged views on Japan-Russia relations, including a peace treaty. I will not go into further details, but let me tell you that we shared the view that it is important to develop Japan-Russia relations in various areas.

 (On the members who were present at the telephone talk)

Participants from the Japanese side included Minister [for Foreign Affairs] Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Isozaki and Secretary General of National Security Secretariat Akiba, as well as senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were not able to identify who were present from the Russian side as the talk was held over the telephone.

 (On whether the Prime Minister told President Putin that a change of the status quo by force would not be acceptable)

Yes, I did. I made clear to him that a solution acceptable to the countries concerned should be pursued through diplomatic negotiations, rather than a change of the status quo by force.

 (On how President Putin responded)

The President explained how things have developed so far from Russia's point of view, as well as his own views on the matter. I refrain from going into details. Thank you.

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