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Vladimir Putin, Shinzo Abe | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2014 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, Russia. For Japan, the ramping up of sanctions by the West against Russia can be summed up in a familiar phrase: It’s complicated. The tug-of-war over Ukraine threatens to derail Abe’s moves toward rapprochement with Russia. Relations between Japan and Russia suffered for decades due to a territorial dispute that has prevented the signing of a peace treaty after World War II. Yet Japan must toe the line on sanctions: It cannot spurn its main ally the U.S., nor European partners. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service, File)