Moment for settling Russia-Japan Kurils dispute long gone | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Moment for settling Russia-Japan Kurils dispute long gone

Moscow earlier offered the "2+2" option, stipulating the return of Habomai and Shikotan while keeping Kunashir and Iturup, which have strategic importance for Russia. Japan insists that the "2+2" plan means handing over the first two islands and continuing talks on the status of the two other islands, chief of the TASS bureau in Japan Vasily Golovnin noted. A compromise is possible under the "2+2" formula, which implies providing Japan with the opportunity to freely pursue economic activity, Kortunov said. Now the situation for solving the territorial dispute can be hardly called favorable since the moment for it has passed. What was possible in the 2000s, when Russia agreed to hand over territories in the Khabarovsk Region and the Chita Region to China is very unlikely now not just due to hopes for a strategic alliance with Beijing, the paper says. The Kremlin has made good progress in reviving the imperial mood and confirming the thesis about the inviolability of the outcome of World War II. Any territorial concession after Crimea’s reunification with Russia would harm Putin’s image as the unifier of the Russian lands and increase discontent among his traditional allies. Kommersant writes that this week Japan eased its position on the Kuril Islands, agreeing to resume discussions on handing over only two out of the four islands. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the progress in discussing this option depends on whether Tokyo would provide guarantees on the non-deployment of US troops to these territories. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Abe has promised this to President Putin. Apparently, doubts whether Abe’s successors would be committed to these agreements could be a key stumbling block at the negotiations.

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