Moscow rejects U.S. involvement in islands dispute with Japan

13:52, June 24, 2011      

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The Russian Foreign Ministry labeled United States involvement in a dispute over four Pacific islands between Russia and Japan as inappropriate interference Thursday.

"Questioning Russia's sovereignty over the South Kuril Islands, which are part of Russia's territory as a result of World War II, as enshrined in the U.N. Charter, is inappropriate," the ministry said in a statement.

The statement was a response to a U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting Tuesday, when the two parties agreed to facilitate the normalization of Russian-Japanese relations by resolving the issue of "the Northern Territories."

The four disputed Pacific islands, which are called Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuril islands in Russia, are claimed by both countries.

Russia and Japan have long been at odds over the sovereignty of the islands. The dispute has blocked a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of World War II.

"We have reasons to expect our American partners to be more respectful toward relevant agreements between the allied powers (of World War II)," the statement said.

"Any outside interference attempt does not help to create a calm atmosphere for dialogue over this complex and sensitive issue," the statement said.

Source: Xinhua
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