Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to intensify Russian-Japanese negotiations on a Peace Treaty on the basis of the 1956 Declaration. The press Secretary of the head of State Dmitry Peskov told reporters after the meeting of the leaders.

"Putin and Abe on the results of the conversation agreed that Russia and Japan will intensify the negotiation process on the peace Treaty on the basis of the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956," Peskov said.

On October 19, 1956, a Joint Declaration on ending the state of war between the two States and restoring diplomatic and consular relations was signed in Moscow. In the 9th article of the document, the Soviet government agreed to transfer to Japan the Shikotan Islands and a number of small uninhabited Islands of the Small Kuril ridge (in Japan they are called Habomai), with the condition that their actual transition under the control of Japan will be made after the conclusion of a peace Treaty. The Declaration was ratified by both States on  December, 8, 1956.

However, in response to the conclusion of the Japanese-American security Treaty in 1960, the USSR cancelled its obligations to transfer the Islands. The aide-Memoire of the Soviet government of January, 27, 1960 States that these Islands will be transferred to Japan only on condition of the withdrawal of all foreign troops from its territory.

Moscow and Tokyo have been holding consultations for many decades with a view to drawing up a peace Treaty following the Second World War. The main obstacle to this is the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands: after the war, the entire archipelago was included in the Soviet Union, but Tokyo disputes the affiliation of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the group of Islands, which in Japan is called Habomai. As repeatedly stated by the Russian foreign Ministry, the Russian sovereignty over them with appropriate international legal design, not subject to doubt.