Dmitry Mezentsev: Russia’s sovereignty over the Kuril Islands is not subject to revision

The senator commented on the decision of the authorities of the Sakhalin Region to conduct a poll of the residents of the Kuril Islands on their territorial belonging.

Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Dmitry Mezentsev, who represents the executive authority of the Sakhalin Region in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, commented on the decision of the region’s authorities to conduct a poll of the residents of the Kuril Islands on their territorial belonging.

“The decision of the Sakhalin regional parliament to conduct the poll and the position of the Acting Governor of the Sakhalin Region Valery Lamarenko testify to the intention of the regional authorities to put an end to the discussion of ‘the Kuril Islands dispute.’ It is based on the firm belief that the residents of the Kuril Islands as well as the overwhelming majority of the Russian people reject the possibility of transferring a part of Russian territory over to another country. There should be no ambiguity as to the belonging of the Kuril Islands,” Dmitry Mezentsev pointed out.

At the same time he is convinced that “economic, humanitarian and cultural ties with Russia’s Japanese partners should be expanded.”

The senator recalled a special format of relations that took shape between the Federation Council and Japan’s House of Councillors. “We established an advisory board to facilitate inter-parliamentary and inter-regional cooperation between Russia and Japan,” he noted.

“The vast potential of Russia-Japan ties should not and cannot be reduced only to the problem of the peace treaty and what our Japanese partners call refer to as the Northern territories,” Dmitry Mezentsev emphasised.