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MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. The Russian Government will discuss development plans of the Kuril Islands for the nearest decade at its meeting on Thursday, the press service of the government said.
The cabinet of ministers approved the program concept at the turn of 2014. The new federal target program "will facilitate the Kuril Islands turn into a modern Russian territory, where it is comfortable to live and interesting to work," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
The total amount of financing for the new program was identified as approximately $1.2 bln. Improvement of transport accessibility, creation of conditions for the sustainable economic development, social infrastructure upgrade and setup of a modern integrated security system to counter natural disasters were indicated as its main areas.
Russia and Japan have no peace treaty signed after World War II. Settlement of the problem inherited by Russia’s diplomacy from the Soviet Union is hampered by the years-long dispute over the four islands of Russia’s Southern Kurils - Shikotan, Khabomai, Iturup and Kunashir, which Japan calls its northern territories.
After World War II, in September 1945, Japan signed the capitulation, and in February 1946, the Kuril Islands were declared territories of the Soviet Union.
During the Cold War, Moscow did not recognize the territorial problem, but in October 1993, when Russian president Boris Yeltsin was on an official visit in Japan, the existence of the problem was confirmed officially. However, the two countries have reached no compromise over the dispute yet.