It will be decided whether the Kremlin on the transfer of the disputed territory Tokyo?

Two Islands in the Kuril archipelago, which belongs to Russia, can pass on to Japan, said the head of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, speaking Thursday, August 15, at the youth forum “Territory”, reports “Radio Freedom”.

According to Lavrov, if Japan finally sign a peace Treaty and officially recognize the Kuril Islands of Russia, the latter can as a “gesture of goodwill” to pass the Islands of Shikotan and Habomai. The head of the Russian foreign Ministry rebuked Tokyo that the issue of acknowledgement of the annexed Crimea Japan shares the U.S. position.

Japan for many years disputed the belonging of the four Islands of the Kuril ridge: Iturup, Shikotan, Kunashir and Habomai. They were occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war. Due to the territorial dispute, Russia and Japan have still not signed a peace Treaty. In November it became known that Japan is ready to return to the Declaration of the Islands 1956. In it, the Soviet Union agreed to transfer to Japan the Habomai and Shikotan once a peace Treaty.

Russian philosopher, publicist Igor Chubais , Sergei Lavrov criticized for inconsistency.

– This issue was resolved on 2 September 1945, after the complete and unconditional surrender of Japan. All state winners, including the US and allies took the position of the Soviet Union the Kurile Islands – territory became Soviet. But after 1953, the Americans changed their position, and in 1956, Nikita Khrushchev wanted to make Japan a second in Finland or Austria, saying that let you be a neutral country, and we’ll give you part of the Kuril Islands. As a result, the Japanese refused, and in 1960, the USSR made clear that the agreement of 1956 cancelled. That is all what Lavrov said today, it’s just a national embarrassment, this humiliation of our country and our people. Any discussions we had, the power 150 times changed its position. President Vladimir Putin recently said that we don’t trade in its territory – it takes a month, and Lavrov said about the two Islands.


Igor Chubais
Photos:RFL/RL

Igor Chubais says that Shikotan and Habomai – not just two Islands, and the archipelago, which includes dozens of Islands with a total area of 400 square kilometers.

– Many say that why do we need these naked rocks, if in the suburbs, poverty, people barely make ends meet – let’s give the Kuril Islands. I agree that the situation is disgusting that the Japanese can these Islands be turned into the jewel in its crown. But the solution to our problems is not in the distribution of territories, and in the change of the political regime. Our problem is not that the country is large, and that there is quite unproductive political regime that destroys everything.

It is worth noting that a few hours after the speech of Sergey Lavrov, the speaker of the Ministry Maria Zakharova called any talk of the transfer of the Kuril Islands to Japan “speculation” and “misinformation”.

But in his speech, Sergey Lavrov touched upon the subject of the annexed Crimea in connection with the Kuril question:

“We want good relations with our Japanese neighbour. For this we need to understand, first, whether Japan is ready to recognize the results of world war II times, she is a member of the UN and in the Charter of the Organization clearly stated that these results are immutable. Second, we need to understand how Japan is independent in matters of foreign policy and security issues, given the strong dependence of Tokyo from Washington, in connection with the Treaty on military-political Union in 1960, which is already implemented in the material, a very deep US presence on the Japanese Islands… can’t ignore the fact that Japan has joined, albeit in a truncated form, to the illegitimate unlawful unilateral sanctions, which were imposed by the West on Russia, especially for what we defended our compatriots in the Crimea, who refused to accept the unconstitutional coup that occurred in February 2014 in Kiev.”

Russian political scientist Yuli Nisnevich believes that the current Russian authorities do not speak favorably about the transfer of the Kuril Islands of Japan, including because of an incident annexed Crimea.

The majority of our citizens this question, in principle, not interesting, except for one thing: to in the heat of nationalism as something not to give. Most people don’t know what are the Kuril Islands, but includes the principle: “not an inch of native land will not give up”… the System of government in Russia for its support of the necessary mobilization of the society, which may be based on such nationalist slogans of the type – like the history of the Crimea, and so on. This event type will constantly exist in the Russian information and political space, because it is one of the mechanisms of mobilization.


Yuliy Nisnevich
Photos:RFL/RL

Ukrainian historian Andriy Ivanets, by contrast, sees a grain of truth in the fact that Russia sacrificed two Islands.

– I think it’s heavily diplomatic game, although such a scenario is to give the small island of Shikotan and the small Habomai archipelago, which occupy only 7% of the disputed territory and get investment from Japan, which desperately needs Russia – that would be for Russia to efficiently and economically profitable. But I’m not sure that there is trust between Russia and Japan in this matter, because if Tokyo will conclude a peace Treaty with Moscow, without mentioning these Islands, it will refuse all four territories. Next is Russia can play again – to conclude a contract on transfer or not to enter. The majority of the population of Japan will hardly be happy with such a development.


Andriy Ivanets
Photos:RFL/RL

Andrei Ivanets stressed that the situation with the annexed Crimea is fundamentally different from the dispute over the South Kuril Islands.

– In Russia the majority of experts and politicians realise that the country violated international law by the annexation of Crimea, and then build different arguments to justify it. The territory of Crimea legally belongs uniquely to Ukraine, and the territory of the Kuril Islands, disputed between the two States, which they consider their own. But here we have bright prospects are expected, Russian leaders may negotiate on Crimea after a much deeper crisis than it is now. In my opinion, sooner or later it will happen, with the participation of Ukraine and the international community. Yet Russia is economically weakens, but is developing its military activity and to put pressure on Ukraine in other areas is not unlikely and military pressure in the coming years.

The head of the Ukrainian Center for international policy studies Vasyl Filipchuk says about the General principles of Russian diplomacy in recent years in connection with the Kuril Islands and the Crimea.

– I would have looked at the bigger picture, since Russia is now strongly promoted in the international agenda the issue of revising the boundaries of the global and European security architecture. Russian experts openly say that every 50 years we need to redraw the map of the world, and there is no inviolable boundaries. They said when there was talk about the conflict in the former Soviet Union, and I repeat the same thing when we are talking about the return to Ukraine of the Crimea. But a standard feature of Russian diplomacy, the principle remains: wherever we are, all ours, and we discuss where we are still not yet captured. So I don’t think the Russians will directly link the issues of Smoke and the Crimea. The question of the Crimea they will try every way to remove from the international agenda and the issue of the Kuril Islands – if you imagine that someone from the Kremlin will go to the transfer to Japan of even a few Islands – could end very quickly to the dramatic events in the Kremlin. There is a consensus on the Kuril Islands.


Vasily Filipchuk
Фoто:ukrinform.ua

Vasyl Filipchuk sure that the words of Sergei Lavrov just flirting with Japan as potentially interesting economic ally.

– And the real transfer of the Kuril Islands would be contrary to everything that was done by Vladimir Putin in the last two decades. Everywhere he promoted the concept of great Russia, the collector of land – the Soviet or Russian Empire. And what, without taking anything except Crimea, which is not recognized in the world of Russian, he give Japan the Kuril Islands? This will multiply Putin to zero.