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    Russia will not cease military cooperation with Japan or any other countries from the Asia-Pacific Region, a source from the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

    Russia will not cease military cooperation with Japan or any other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, a source from the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

    "The [Pacific] Fleet has ample military force that can form ship groups to maintain stability in the regions. At the same time, there are no plans to halt military cooperation with countries in the region, including with Japan," the source said.

    Earlier in February, Igor Korotchenko, a member of Russia's Defense Ministry's Public Council said Russia must start building infrastructure near the port of Vladivostok as soon as possible to accommodate two Mistral class amphibious assault ships to be built in France for the Russian Navy.

    The ships are expected to join Russia's Pacific Fleet and be deployed to protect the disputed South Kuril Islands. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in February ordered naval and ground-based units deployed on four Kuril Islands to be equipped with advanced weaponry.

    "This [the early construction of infrastructure] will ensure their immediate use of these ships in the Vladivostok area upon entering service with the Pacific Fleet in 2014," Korotchenko said.

    A high-ranking Russian official in the General Staff of the armed forces said last week that Moscow would deploy reinforcements to include short- and long-range air defense missile systems including the latest S-400 Triumf system to the southern Kuril Islands to protect Russia's sovereignty in the Far East.

    Japan has been angered by visits to the islands by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in November, as well as a number of other top Russian officials following suit.

    The South Kuril Islands were seized from Japan by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two and remain a source of tension between Moscow and Tokyo. Russia claims that the islands are "unalienable Russian territory."

     

    MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)

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