(From AFP)

Russia’s defense ministry said Friday it was taking unprecedented measures to upgrade its military facilities on the far-eastern Kuril islands claimed by Japan.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to Iturup island, one of the Kurils, in August 2015

Colonel-General Sergei Surovikin, commander of the eastern military district, announced the launch of “unprecedented measures to develop military infrastructure in the area,” the ministry said in a statement.

He said Russia was taking the steps to “exclude the emergence of even the smallest risks.”

Russia has military bases on the Kuril Pacific archipelago, while Japan claims four of the islands in a dispute that has simmered since World War II, preventing the countries ever signing a peace treaty.

Soviet troops seized four of the Kuril islands at the end of World War II just after Japan surrendered. Read More

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