According to Nikkei Asia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said today (Monday) that Russia will withdraw from negotiations with Japan for a peace treaty to formally end World War II hostilities, in response to sanctions against Russia.

Japan, along with the US and Europe, have imposed stiff economic sanctions against Russia following its military invasion of Ukraine. Japan is damaging Russian interests by taking an "openly unfriendly" stance toward the country, the ministry said in its statement.

Russia will also end visa-free Japanese travel to a chain of Russian-controlled islands called the Northern Territories by Japan and the Southern Kurils by Russia, the ministry said.

Russia plans to withdraw from discussions on joint economic activities. It also plans not to extend Japan's status as a partner in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation framework.

The ministry statement blamed Japan's "anti-Russian" policies for the deterioration in bilateral ties.

Under a joint statement in 1956, the Soviet Union agreed to cede two islands to Japan once they signed a peace treaty. Those two islands are called Habomai and Shikotan by the Japanese. No treaty has yet been signed.

By exiting the negotiations, Russia has essentially shut the door on Japanese hopes of reclaiming territory it lost to Russia in WWII.