Moscow reminds Japan that the Kuriles are Russian in protest over maneuvers

Moscow reminds Japan that the Kuriles are Russian in protest over maneuvers

Russia reminded Japan on Friday that the Kuril Islands are Russian territory after Tokyo protested the possible holding of the Vostok-2022 Russian military maneuvers in that archipelago.

“I am forced to recall a truism, the Kuril Islands are an inalienable part of Russian territory, whose sovereignty legally belongs to our country as a result of World War II and cannot be questioned,” said Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign spokeswoman. .

Zajárova considered “inopportune” the protest presented on Thursday by the Japanese Undersecretary of the Cabinet, Yoshihiko Isozaki, for Russian activities in what are known in Japan as the Northern Territories, amid tensions over the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

The Russian diplomat expressed her surprise that Tokyo wants to “demand” Moscow to “exclude” the four Southern Kuril Islands from the war zone.

Along the same lines, the Russian ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, stressed that the maneuvers, which will be held from August 30 to September 5, are not directed against any country, so Japan has no reason to worry.

He stressed that Moscow has more reason to worry than any other country in the region, where the US has a large military contingent, since Washington practices a “hostile” policy against Russia.

In turn, he considered that the Japanese protests will in no way influence the military and economic plans for the Russian Far East and the Kuriles themselves.

In June, Russia suspended the fisheries agreement with Japan, which it accused of failing to fulfill its obligations under the bilateral document signed in 1998, which includes freezing payments for cooperation in the field of exploitation of marine resources of the zone.

The agreement allowed Japanese fishermen to fish in the waters of the South Kuril Islands, under quotas granted annually by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the then Japanese Prime Minister, the assassinated Shinzo Abe, agreed in 2016 to develop joint economic activities in the fishing, tourism, health and environmental sectors on the islands, claimed by Tokyo since 1946.

In early April, Japan expelled eight Russian diplomats for “war crimes” allegedly committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Russia responded reciprocally shortly thereafter, adopting sanctions against 63 Japanese officials and politicians, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in early May.

The current bilateral tensions have slowed down the rapprochement in recent years between Moscow and Tokyo aimed at normalizing relations and signing a peace treaty pending since World War II.

Russia always advocated signing such a treaty before addressing the territorial dispute over the four Kuril Islands, under Soviet – and later Russian – control since February 2, 1946.

For its part, Japan considers these islands to be “an ancestral and inalienable part of its territory.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.