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International relations

Russia suspends agreement with Japan on fishing near disputed islands

Moscow says Tokyo failed to make payments required under deal over south Kurils

Russian salmon at a fish shop in Nemuro, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, on April 11.   © Reuters

(Reuters) -- Russia's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it was suspending an agreement with Japan that allowed Japanese fishermen to fish near the disputed southern Kuril Islands, saying Tokyo had failed to make payments required under the deal.

"In the current situation, we are forced to suspend the implementation of the 1998 Agreement until the Japanese side fulfills all its financial obligations," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

A territorial dispute over the islands, known in Russia as the Kurils and in Japan as the Northern Territories, dates back to the end of World War II, when Soviet troops seized them from Japan. The row has prevented the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty.

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