Fri, August 17, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Japan in islands row

Russia to send navy ships to disputed Kurils

2012-08-17 06:01:37 GMT2012-08-17 14:01:37(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Russia has announced that it will send two navy vessels to the disputed Kuril islands in the Pacific, which are known as the Northern Territories by Japan.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the Pacific fleet ships are scheduled to travel between August 25 and September 17. The ships will visit three of the four islands to take part in ceremonies honouring Soviet sailors who died there at the end of World War Two.

The dispute has strained relations between the Russia and Japan and prevented them from signing a formal peace treaty.

Japan says the islands are part of its territory and wants Moscow to hand them over but Russia has rejected those demands.

Dmitry Medvedev made the first visit to the islands as a Russian president in 2010 and went there again last month, this time as prime minister.

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