World News

Putin says Japan's military cooperation with U.S. is source of concern

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia had concerns about Japan’s military cooperation with the United States, but respected Tokyo’s right to defend itself anyway it saw fit.

Putin, who was speaking at an economic forum, said Moscow and Tokyo needed to increase trust levels.

The search to find a solution that would allow the two countries to finally and formally sign a World War Two peace treaty was a complex one, he added. But he said that he personally wanted to see it happen as did Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in St Petersburg and Maria Kiselyova and Christian Lowe in Moscow; Editing by Andrew Osborn