Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Russia to build airport on disputed Pacific island

Updated: 2011-03-26 08:07


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MOSCOW - Russia would enhance transport infrastructure on the disputed Southern Kuril islands, which are also claimed by Japan as its Northern Territories, local reports said Friday.

Citing the Russian Regional Development Ministry, the reports said a new airport would be built in 2011 on one of the four disputed Pacific islands, Iturup (Etorofu in Japan), and Russia would also renovate an existing airport and a sea port on Kunashir (Kunashiri in Japan) island.

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In addition, a highway will be rebuilt on Shikotan, also in the Southern Kurils cluster this year.

In total, Russia will allocate 1.14 billion rubles (over $40 million) for improving transport infrastructure on the disputed islands this year.

Last November, Russian President Medvedev visited Kunashir island and vowed to improve the living conditions on the islands.

Last year, Russia invested 1.36 billion rubles ($48 million) to boost development in the Southern Kurils.

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


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