Russia’s Medvedev lands on disputed Far East island
MOSCOW, July 3 — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev landed today on a remote island chain seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War Two, Russian news agencies reported, in a trip likely to renew a territorial dispute with Japan.
Medvedev caused uproar in Japan in 2010 when he became the first Russian leader to visit the disputed island chain known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
After that visit, he promised to send more modern arms to an artillery division deployed on the windswept archipelago.
The islands lie off Russia’s eastern coast, some 7,000 km away from Moscow. The island of Kunashir, the last in the chain, where Medvedev landed, is only about 15 km from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.
Russia is raising its profile on its vast but sparsely populated eastern seaboard in advance of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok in September. — Reuters