10:28 GMT11 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has the right to conduct any surveys on its territory, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed on Friday, commenting on Japan's representation over Russia's geological exploration in the Sea of Okhotsk, including near the coast of the disputed South Kuril Islands.

    "In this case, Russia has a full sovereign right to conduct any kind of exploration on its territory", Peskov told reporters.

    Russia has notified Japan in advance of its three-month geological survey in the area of the North Pacific Ocean, between the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Sakhalin island and the archipelago of Kuril Islands, four of which have been subject to territorial claims by Japan.

    A village in Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Kunashir Island of the Greater Kuril Ridge
    © Sputnik / Ekaterina Chesnokova
    A village in Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Kunashir Island of the Greater Kuril Ridge

    Moscow stresses the islands became part of Russia after World War II, and the nation's sovereignty over them is not up for discussion. The dispute over the islands has been the main reason for the lack of a post-WWII peace treaty between Russia and Japan.

    Tags:
    Kuril Islands, Japan, Russia
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