Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi on May 6, 2016. / AFP / SPUTNIK / Sergei Guneev
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Friday met Russian President Vladimir Putin in a rare visit by a G7 leader as the two sides sought to bolster ties and make progress on a decades-long territorial dispute.The Kremlin has dismissed hopes of any major breakthrough towards resolving the dispute being made at Friday's meeting but has played up Abe's visit as a symbol of warming ties despite Western attempts to isolate Putin.U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly asked Abe in February to postpone his trip to Russia, according to sources quoted by Japan's Kyodo news agency.The leaders are expected to discuss a long-planned visit by Putin to Japan this year, after Lavrov last month urged Tokyo to give a firm date.
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