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Abe to visit Russia on May 26, Russia’s deputy prime minister says

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Russia on May 26 for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a visiting deputy prime minister from Russia told trade minister Hiroshige Seko.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko agreed in their Saturday meeting in Osaka to accelerate coordination so the two countries can further promote economic cooperation at the next Abe-Putin summit.

Japan and Russia agreed in 2016 that Tokyo will provide Moscow with economic assistance in eight fields including medical care, energy development, industry promotion in the Russian Far East and personnel exchanges.

“I hope as many projects will be put into form from being on paper so that Russian people can feel their benefits,” Seko said in his meeting with Golodets, which was joined by Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin.

They agreed to strengthen human exchanges between Japanese and Russian universities and cooperate on information technology to enhance productivity.

Oreshkin, noting Putin’s re-election as president on March 18, said Russia will continue to support the eight-point economic cooperation Abe originally proposed to Putin at their meeting in Russia in May 2016. The two leaders agreed on the cooperation during their December summit the same year in Japan.

Abe made the proposal to create a favorable environment to make progress on the decades-old territorial dispute over the Russian-held, Tokyo-claimed islands off Hokkaido.

Abe is expected to attend an economic forum in St. Petersburg in late May.