Russia stands firm in territorial dispute with JapanJuly 3rd, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, July 3 (RIA Novosti) Russia has said it is ready to talk with Japan over territorial issues but insisted that its sovereignty over the southern Kuril islands north of Japan is unquestionable. “The fundamental position of the Russian Federation is that the south Kuril islands became part of our country as a result of the World War II and Russia’s sovereignty over them, which has a corresponding international legalization, is unquestionable,” foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
Japan has a long-runing territorial dispute with Russia over the Kurils, which it calls the Northern Territories claiming sovereignty on them.
The disputed islands, which were occupied by Soviet forces during the August Storm offensive at the end of the war, are currently under Russian administration as part of the Sakhalin region.
In the run-up to the July 7-9 G-8 summit on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the Japanese press has been drawing international attention to the long-running territorial dispute.
Criticising the Japanese media attempt, Nesterenko said, “Russia recognizes the border dispute and was ready to continue the patient and quiet search for a solution that would be acceptable to the people of Russia and Japan.”
The territorial dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a formal peace agreement.