Russia says U.S. intervention in Kuril Islands dispute with Japan is unacceptable

February 25th, 2011 - 1:42 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday said that the United States attempts to intervene in the Japan-Russia dispute over the Kuril Islands are unacceptable.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Beyrle to communicate Russia’s concern over the U.S. statements supporting Japan’s territorial claims over the Kuril Islands.

“We consider it totally unacceptable to attempt to meddle in this matter, which is bilateral. The U.S. reaction did not contribute to finding a constructive solution to such a sensitive problem,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

Last week, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that the claims for the Northern Territories (as the Kuril Islands are known in Japan) could be much louder if the Japanese people realize how close they are to the Asian country.

Previously, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan demanded the return of the islands to Japan following a visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the disputed territory last November. Kan said that the visit was an “inexcusable rudeness.”

In response, Medvedev announced that Russia will increase its military presence on the disputed territories as he ordered the deployment of naval and ground-based units equipped with advanced weaponry.

The Kuril Islands, Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai, lie at the end of a chain stretching from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to the Japanese island of Hokkaido. This dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a postwar peace treaty after the islands were seized from Japan by Soviet troops at the end of World War II.

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