A 1993 treaty on scrapping atomic weapons is no longer in effect File photo: A “Yars” intercontinental ballistic missile during the rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. © Sputnik/Vladimir Astapkovich

Moscow has officially ended a disarmament cooperation agreement with Tokyo, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday. The process of scrapping the treaty was initiated six months ago due to what Russia called Japan’s “unfriendly” policies.

Under the agreement, signed in October 1993, Japan was to help Russia dismantle a large portion of the Soviet atomic arsenal and help address resulting environmental problems.

“The agreement between the Russian government and the government of Japan on cooperation in dismantling of nuclear weapons subject to reduction, signed in Tokyo on October 13, 1993, ceased to be in effect as of May 21, 2024,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced the plans to withdraw from the treaty in November of last year, starting the six-month disengagement process. According to Moscow, it was impossible to continue interactions with an unfriendly state on issues affecting Russia’s national security “in the context of the openly anti-Russian policy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government.”

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“This severance of relations is the choice made by the Japanese side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Japan has condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and joined the US and EU in sanctioning Moscow. In March, Tokyo questioned the legitimacy of the four former Ukrainian regions that joined Russia in September 2022 taking part in the country’s presidential election.

Russia and Japan have yet to conclude a formal peace treaty to end the Second World War. Peace talks were called off in March 2022 after Japan sanctioned Russia.

Tokyo has demanded the return of four of the Kuril Islands, while Moscow has argued that its sovereignty over the territories is guaranteed by post-war agreements.