MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has commented on Japan’s dissatisfaction with Russia’s research near the Kuril Islands, noting that Moscow has the right to do this in its territory.
"Russia has the absolute sovereign right to conduct any kind of research in its territory," he pointed out.
Earlier, the Japanese government rebuked Russia for performing geological research in the Sea of Okhotsk which particularly is planned in the waters near the southern Kuril Islands. The Russian embassy in Tokyo confirmed that it had received the note from Japan.
The diplomatic mission clarified that "it had received a signal from the Japanese side, saying that the route of a Russian research vessel trespasses on Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to Tokyo’s information." It was reported back to Moscow, the real situation is being determined now, the embassy added, emphasizing that the southern Kurils are legitimately under Russia’s sovereignty. Therefore, the Russian side does not see "any problems with the being carried out research."
Moscow and Tokyo have been conducting intermittent consultations on concluding a peace treaty on the basis of the results of World War II since the middle of last century. The sovereignty over the southern Kuril Islands is the stumbling block. In 1945, the whole archipelago was taken over by the Soviet Union. Japan disputes the territorial affiliation of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and a group of currently uninhabited islands referred to as Habomai in Japan. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands relies on an international legal groundwork and is unquestionable.