Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has recommended that journalists avoid reading media outlets that report about Russia's alleged readiness to transfer the Kuril Islands to Japan in the future
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd March, 2021) Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has recommended that journalists avoid reading media outlets that report about Russia's alleged readiness to transfer the Kuril Islands to Japan in the future.
"Don't read these media. In all countries, including in Japan, there are a lot of extremists, a lot of adherents of such ultra-views and a lot of those who are trying to replace these ultra-views with a constructive approach to the prospects for the development of bilateral relations," the spokesman told reporters.
He noted that the Russian-Japanese contacts are quite intensive and expressed hope that this dynamic "will continue after we all return to normal life in the post-COVID period."
The Kuril Islands dispute has been souring Moscow-Tokyo relations for decades and serves as the main stumbling block to signing a permanent peace treaty for the official end of World War II. The group of four islands, namely Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, is collectively referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan. Russia insists that its sovereignty over the islands, which became a part of the USSR after WWII, is undisputed.
In November 2018, former Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to accelerate peace treaty talks on the basis of a Soviet-era joint declaration. The document, signed in 1956, stipulates among other things that the Soviet Union would transfer the two disputed islands � Habomai and Shikotan � to Japan following the conclusion of a peace treaty. The agreement by the two leaders to use the declaration as the basis for peace negotiations spurred a series of meetings held the following year by Putin and Abe and their foreign ministers. Russia, however, has repeatedly said that the talks do not presuppose the transfer of any territories to Japan.