MOSCOW: The Kremlin said on Wednesday (Jan 16) it expected talks to be difficult when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet next week to discuss a deal that could end a decades-old territorial row.
Abe is making a push to end a dispute over islands captured by Soviet troops in the last days of World War Two that has prevented the countries signing a peace treaty since the war.
Abe is due to meet Putin on Jan 22 in Moscow.
There are still differences between Moscow and Japan's positions, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Tom Balmforth, Editing by William Maclean)