Moscow and Tokyo still have “extremely significant” differences over a World War II peace deal that Japan hopes will end a territorial row between them, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday.

Japan is seeking a deal with Russia to put an end to a dispute over islands off its northeastern coast that were seized by Soviet troops in the last days of World War II, a disagreement that has soured bilateral relations for decades.<

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