SOCHI, July 28 (RIA Novosti)
- Putin Akita Puppy to ‘Boost Ties’ with Japan
- Putin to Discuss Kurils with Japanese Foreign Minister
- Japan Ponders Joint Use of Disputed Kuril Islands
- Medvedev Indifferent to Japan’s Reaction to Kurils Visit
- Japanese Protest Over Medvedev Visit to Disputed Isles
Russian state and government officials will continue visiting the Kuril Islands, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
“Russia cannot accept the protests that have come from Tokyo,” he said, responding to a request form a Japanese reporter to comment on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent trip to the Kuril Islands that has provoked a highly negative reaction in Japan.
“Protests are not conducive to normal dialog,” Lavrov said at a news conference after a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. “Not a single issue can be solved amid ultimatums and the ratcheting up of tension.”
“My answer to the question of whether Russian officials will refrain from visits [to the Kurils] is, ‘No,’” he said.
Earlier in July, Medvedev arrived in Kunashir, just north of Japan's Hokkaido Island, for his second trip to the disputed Kuril Islands, which the Soviet Union annexed after World War II. Japan claims Kunashir, Shikotan, the Habomai Islets and Iturup as its territory.
In 2010, Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Tokyo by making the first ever visit by a Russian leader to the islands. He later said Russia would increase its military presence there. Japan's then prime minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev's visit "inexcusable rudeness."
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.