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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/John Gress


MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Obama administration tried to stop Japan improving ties with Russia and receiving President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Putin visited Japan in December.

Russia and Japan signed numerous economic deals during Putin's visit but made no big breakthrough on a territorial row that has over-shadowed ties since World War Two.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Andrew Osborn; Writing by Alexander Winning and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)