Visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to Iturup Island on July 26 demonstrated to the West that Russia is ready to firmly defend its territorial interests in a tense international situation, said Valery Kistanov, head of the Center for Japanese Studies at the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in a comment for the Rossa Primavera News Agency.
“When the international situation is deteriorating, when Russia is under pressure from all sides, I do not rule out that this is a signal to the West: ‘We are determined to defend our national security interests, including our territorial interests, more consistently and firmly’, “ Kistanov said.
Kistanov cited several possible reasons for Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s trip to the Kurils.
“The Japanese, for example, believe that Russia timed it when the Olympics are taking place in Japan, that under the guise of the Olympics it decided to assert its sovereignty over these islands in a harsh form. But I don’t think that’s right,” the scientist explained.
“I think our ruling circles have finally realized that something serious has to be done with the islands. In the 90’s they were generally abandoned, then they began to develop – economically, the infrastructure began to be built, communication with the mainland was improved. But still, all this was not enough,” he added.
On July 26, the Ambassador of Russia in Tokyo Mikhail Galuzin was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan where Japanese Vice Foreign Minister lodged a protest over the visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to the Iturup of the Kuril islands.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency