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International relations

Putin says 'Tempo has been lost' on Japan-Russia peace treaty

Moscow balks at giving Japan disputed islands if US forces can set foot there

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said the "tempo has been lost" toward a peace treaty with Japan as the specter of American troops interfered with efforts to resolve a territorial dispute, Russia's Kommersant reported Friday.

Putin made the remarks on a treaty to formally end World War II-era hostilities in a private meeting with business leaders Thursday, the paper said.

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