Russia to deploy missile systems on Kuril Islands

The coastal missile systems Bal and Bastion, as well as a new generation of drones will be available during a planned upgrade on the Kuril Islands in 2016, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, said on Friday.

"A planned re-equipment of formations and military units are being carried out in the Kuril Islands. This year the shore-based missile complexes Bal and Bastion, and new generation unmanned aerial vehicles, Eleron-3 will be accommodated here," Shoigu said at the a meeting of the Defense Ministry.

In recent years, the Ministry of Defence has led active military construction on the Kuril Islands. As Shoigu stated in January, the Russian Armed Forces will complete the upgrade of the military infrastructure on the Kuril Islands and the island part of the Arctic this year as well.

The Kuril Islands are the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan – Tokyo claims the Kuril Islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai archipelago, as Japan’s, referring to the Bilateral Treatise on Trade and Borders of 1855.

Tokyo`s condition in signing a Peace Treaty with Russia after World War II was that the islands would be returned, yet this treaty has never been signed. Moscow’s position is that the southern Kuril Islands became a part of the USSR at the end of the war and that Russia has sovereignty over them, and that the international legal recognition of this can not be questioned.

  Russia, Japan