© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows Kunashiri Island, one of four islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territory in Japan, seen in this photo taken in 2005. REUTERS/Kyodo
(Reuters) – Russia is conducting exercises on islands claimed by Tokyo, Japanese media said on Saturday, days after Moscow halted peace talks with Japan over its sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Eastern Military District said it was conducting military exercises on the Kuril Islands with more than 3,000 troops and hundreds of military equipment, Russia’s Interfax news agency said on Friday.
It did not say where on the island chain, connecting Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula and the main island of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost tip, the exercises were taking place. Japanese media say they are on territory that the Soviet Union seized at the end of World War II that Tokyo claims.
The Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office could not be reached outside of business hours for comment on the drills.
Territorial disputes over four small islands – which Russia says are part of the Kuril chain and which Japan calls the Northern Territories – have prevented Tokyo and Moscow from reaching a peace treaty formally ending the conflict.
Japan reacted angrily on Tuesday after Russia pulled out of lengthy treaty negotiations and froze joint economic projects related to the islands, in retaliation for Japan’s accession to sanctions. West to Moscow’s invasion a month ago.
Russian exercises related to repelling amphibious warfare include destroying defense aircraft carrying troops and testing skills in operating the fire control system of anti-tank guided missiles, Interfax reported. know.
“In addition, units of the Air Defense Force are taking a series of measures to detect, identify and destroy enemy aircraft hypothesized to carry out an air attack,” the agency said. quoted the County press service as saying.
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