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Kuril Islands. Image courtesy of: Navy Matters: Russia To Militarize Kuril Islands (

The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced it will stop negotiations with Japan on a peace treaty to officially end a conflict dating back to World War II involving the disputed Kuril Islands. The move which also includes the withdrawal from joint economic projects, is the result of Tokyo’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia over President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine.

The Soviet Union seized the disputed islands in the final days of World War II, expelling thousands of Japanese residents. The two countries have never signed a treaty ending the war and have quarrelled for decades over the territories. 

“The current situation all stems from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated, adding that halting the talks was “unjust and absolutely unacceptable.” 

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said there was no change to Japan’s basic policy of seeking to resolve the island dispute and agree to a peace treaty.

The Kuril Islands are a group of 56 volcanic islands in East Asia, located between the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula and Hokkaido. They range from northeast to southwest about a mile away. 1,200 km, which separates the Okhotsk Sea from the Pacific Ocean. They are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and are part of the Sakhalin Territory, but Japan claims two large southern islands and the islands of Shikotan and Habomai, also known as the “Kuril Islands”. 




Image courtesy of: Navy Matters: Russia To Militarize Kuril Islands (