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The Japanese government has proposed to Russia in the course of working-level contacts to carry out economic cooperation on the South Kuriles “on a combined legal base”
The Japanese government has proposed to Russia in the course of working-level contacts to carry out economic cooperation on the South Kuriles “on a combined legal base,” however Moscow regarded this proposal unacceptable, an informed source in Tokyo told Itar-Tass. According to the source, “the idea of cooperation, including the establishment of joint ventures on the South Kuriles was put forward by the Japanese side at the working level some time ago, but was not advertised.” It was in general terms voiced by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The Russia side assessed the idea as positive, however “it was given to understand that cooperation should be carried out on the basis of Russian laws.” Explaining the approach of the Russian side the source said Russia does not object to the cooperation idea and considers it even good, because “it would be useful both for the islands residents and the Japanese.” However, the Russian side proceeds from the assumption that “as the sovereignty over the South Kuriles belongs to Russia cooperation should also be carried out on the basis of the Russian legislation.” The source pointed out that in the view of Moscow in the situation when Tokyo does not abandon its demands of the South Kuriles transfer to its ownership as the ultimate goal “the establishment of a joint legal base would mean erosion of the Russian sovereignty.” According to the source, the Russian side told the Japanese “the idea of changing sovereignty does not suit Russia” and it believes “cooperation on this basis is unacceptable.”
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