MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The three-year infrastructure development plans for the Kuril Islands make speculations about the possible handover of the islands to Japan irrelevant, Acting Governor of Russia’s Sakhalin Region Valery Limarenko told Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.
According to him, the residents of the Sakhalin region strongly believe that the Kuril Islands are an integral part of Russia. "They believe we will not redraw borders, we don’t want it," he added.
"We are making development plans for the Kuril Islands for the next several years," the acting governor went on to say. New roads, schools, sporting and cultural facilities will be built there in the next three years. "About 11 bln rubles ($164.4 mln) will be allocated. In my view, it is a rather clear response to all those interested in the matter," Limarenko noted.
Until recently, the Japanese government maintained a position that the southern Kuril Islands — referred to as "the northern territories" in Japan — had been occupied after World War II so Tokyo was eligible to demand compensation from Moscow. The Japanese authorities recently pointed to the need to reach an understanding with the residents of the southern Kuril Islands concerning the handover of the islands to Japan.
In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Japanese Ambassador to Moscow Toyohisa Kozuki and pointed out that such statements grossly distorted the essence of the agreements achieved by the two countries’ leaders.