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International relations

US-Russia nuclear dispute raises obstacle in Japan island talks

Tokyo aims to deploy missile-defense system that Moscow calls a threat

MOSCOW -- Tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Washington's withdrawal from a Cold War nuclear pact threaten to throw a wrench into Japan's efforts to sign a long-awaited postwar peace treaty with Moscow and settle their longtime island dispute.

The recent U.S. move to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, alleging violations by Moscow, drew sharp criticism from Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual address to parliament last week.

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