Japan to lend to sanctioned Russian bank to push island talks

TOKYO - State-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation will lend about 4 billion yen ($39 million) to Russia's Sberbank, which is subject to Western sanctions, in the hope of advancing talks on a territorial dispute, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.
Sberbank, Russia's biggest bank, will use the yen-denominated loan to help a company operating the port of Vostochny in the Russian Far East to buy coal-handling equipment.
JBIC will issue the loan by the end of the year in a bid to encourage progress on a dispute over a string of Russia-controlled Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuriles in Russia, at a December summit.
"JBIC's move to provide financing to Russia comes because the Japanese government aims to make progress in the negotiations," the Nikkei said.
JBIC was not available for comment.
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