Latest Developments in Ukraine: Jan. 3

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The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EST.

12:02 a.m.: Japan’s “anti-Russian course” makes peace treaty talks impossible, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said in comments published by the state TASS news agency on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Russia and Japan have not formally ended World War Two hostilities because of their standoff over islands, seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war, just off Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

The islands are known in Russia as the Kurils and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

“It is absolutely obvious that it is impossible to discuss the signing of such a document (a peace treaty) with a state that takes openly unfriendly positions and allows itself direct threats against our country,” Rudenko told TASS in an interview.

“We are not seeing signs of Tokyo moving away from the anti-Russian course and any attempt to rectify the situation.”

Russia withdrew from its talks with Japan in March last year, following Japanese sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Japan reacted angrily to the talks, calling Moscow’s move “unfair” and “completely unacceptable.”

Separately, Rudenko also said that Russia supports Beijing’s “One China” policy on the issue of Taiwan, reiterating Moscow’s explicit backing of China over the fate of the island where the defeated Republic of China government fled in 1949.

“Beijing is well aware that the Russian side invariably supports the People’s’ Republic of China on the Taiwan issue,” Rudenko said. “We proceed from the fact that there is only one China, the PRC government is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and Taiwan is an integral part of it.”

China claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has ramped up military and political pressure against the island over the past two years. Taipei strongly rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

Some information in this report came from Reuters.

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