23:57 GMT +318 June 2019
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    Kuril Islands

    Russian Officials to Continue Visiting Kurils Despite Japan’s Stance

    © Sputnik / Sergey Krasnouhov
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    Russia does not intend to take into account Japan’s position while planning official visits to the Kuril Islands, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Tokyo lodged a formal protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's visit to one of the Kuril Islands, according to local media.

    "We would like to reiterate that we have no intention to take into account Japan's position while drafting the working schedule for the leadership and the members of the government. Visits to this Russian region, as well as the consistent implementation of the federal target program ‘Socio-Economic Development of the Kuril Islands (Sakhalin Region) for 2016 —2025 years,' will continue," the ministry said in a statement.

    The Russian prime minister visited Iturup earlier in the day to inspect a number of construction sites that are part of Russia’s Kuril development program mapped out until 2025.

    The four Kuril Islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai — have been administered by Russia since the end of World War II, but Japan still lays claim to them.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that by insisting on the unfounded claims on the four Kuril Islands Japan "demonstrates its blatant disregard for the commonly-accepted outcome of the Second World War."


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