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MOSCOW (Kyodo) Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday that talks on the four disputed islands it governs off Hokkaido will be meaningless if Tokyo adopts a “radical stance” on the long-running matter.

Lukashevich said the two nations’ positions are now “completely inconsistent,” but stressed Moscow will maintain dialogue with Tokyo on signing a postwar peace treaty.

His remarks follow Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s warning Tuesday that unless Japan recognizes the outcome of World War II, negotiations to solve the dispute will lose their meaning.

Japanese-Russian ties have deteriorated sharply over the territorial spat. Prime Minister Naoto Kan triggered a backlash from Russia earlier this month when he called Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the four islands an “unforgivable outrage.”

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