Russia plans to build a military base on the Kurile Islands, Wrangel Island, Cape Schmidt, and on the eastern coast of Chukotka, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday, according to the Interfax news agency.
He also said that one of the bases in size and equipment will exceed those built in the Soviet times. The Minister hasn’t fleshed out on which of the Kuril Islands it’s planned to build a base and whether it’s the part of the contested territory known as the Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
Russia seized the Kuril Islands from Japan after the WWII and the peace treaty between two countries has not been signed yet. Japan is disputing the ownership of the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai. Late August this year, Dmitry Medvedev paid a visit to Iturup Island that triggered a scandal. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has declared a formal protest against the Russian Ambassador.