MFA: the amendment will have no impact on the activity with Japan on the Kuril Islands

Adoption of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation do not affect the joint economic activity with Japan on the Kuril Islands, said Deputy foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

A nationwide vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation was scheduled for 22 April, but then postponed due to the difficult epidemiological situation in the country. Later, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the vote will take place on 1 July. To participate in distance voting were residents of the two pilot regions - Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod region. It was held from 25 to 30 June.

He pointed to the fact that Moscow is Tokyo the negotiations are not about the Islands, and on the conclusion of a peace Treaty, Treaty of peace, friendship, neighbourliness and cooperation.

"Therefore, in my view, such negotiations can be continued. But, once again, the understanding is now enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation the provisions on the inviolability of our borders," he added.

According to Morgulov, there is active debate about the possibility of joint economic activities on the Kuril Islands.

He noted that this is subject to future further discussions with Japanese colleagues.

During the visit to Japan of President of Russia Vladimir Putin in December 2016 between leaders of both countries agreed to discuss the possibility of joint economic activities on southern Kuriles. When it does not prejudice the legal positions of both countries. The implementation of joint projects being considered in areas such as aquaculture, greenhouse agriculture, tourism, wind energy and recycling of waste. In the autumn of last year held the first pilot project of a visit of Japanese tourists to the Kuril Islands.

Relations between Russia and Japan for many years overshadows the absence of a peace Treaty. In 1956 the USSR and Japan signed a Joint Declaration in which Moscow has agreed to consider the possibility of transfer of Japan of the Habomai and Shikotan after the conclusion of a peace Treaty, and the fate of Kunashir and Iturup are not affected. The USSR hoped that the Joint Declaration will put an end to the dispute, Japan believed the document only part of the solution, not abandoning claims to all the Islands.

Later the negotiations failed, the peace Treaty after the Second world war and was not signed. There is a view that serious opposition arose from the United States, which threatened that if Japan would agree to the transfer of only two of the four Islands, it will affect the process of the return of Okinawa under Japanese sovereignty (the Agreement on the return of Okinawa to Japan entered into force in 1972 — ed.). Moscow's position is that the Islands became part of the Soviet Union at the end of the Second world war and the Russian sovereignty over them cannot be questioned.

In 2018 in Singapore at the end of the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister said that the sides agreed to accelerate negotiations on a peace Treaty on the basis of Joint Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956. This is a serious concession on the part of Japan, because until now, its official position was to demand the return of the four Islands and only after that — the conclusion of a peace Treaty.