MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russia can conduct military exercises throughout its entire territory, even the Far East, and these maneuvers should not be a cause for other countries’ concerns, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized on Monday.
The Russian presidential spokesman thus commented on a protest filed by Japan over Russia’s upcoming live-fire drills on the southern Kuril Islands.
"Without a doubt, we continue the process of military development, the process of army training, maneuvers, and drills across the entire geography of the Russian Federation, including the Far East," the Kremlin spokesman emphasized.
"These drills should not be in any way a cause for our neighbors’ concern or uneasiness," Peskov noted.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference earlier on Monday that the Japanese government had issued a protest to Russia over an upcoming shooting practice in the southern part of the Kuril Islands.
At another press conference held later on Monday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary provided updated information, which suggested that the Russian side had already begun the live-fire drills on February 7. He also claimed that the firing practice was being held "in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, including four Northern Islands," stressing that a protest had already been lodged to Russia through diplomatic channels in this regard.
Earlier, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported that Tokyo had received a notice from Moscow about an upcoming missile exercise in a vast area near Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, which covered the Kurils and the La Perouse Strait. As reported, the live-fire missile exercises will be carried out on and off during February.