(THE VOICE OF RUSSIA) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has arrived at the southern Kuril Island of Kunashir. He is due to inspect production and social-sector facilities and socialize with the local residents.
The Prime Minister’s visit was in limbo for a while due to bad weather, but he said it was a very important point on the agenda of his tour of the Russian Far East.
Mr. Medvedev said earlier: “We have planned together with colleagues, ministers and vice-premiers to visit the islands of the Kuril ridge, see facilities that are under construction there in accordance with the ongoing program, hold meetings and just talk to people. It’s a very important part of Sakhalin and of the whole Russia.” He also added the implementation of all Kuril programs required ministerial oversight.
The Russian Prime Minister has urged to speed up contract signing processes on federal target programs to allow the government to throw budget allocations into the projects. Dmitry Medvedev confessed that red tape took up more time than the actual projects implementation.
Mr. Medvedev also drew attention to the interests that South-Pacific businesses vested in joint projects on the Kuril Islands and in the Sakhalin Region, stressing these territories had “an immense fishery and tourism potential.”
It is the second time that Medvedev has come to visit Kunashir. The first time was in November 2010, when Dmitry Medvedev was the President of Russia.
The 2010 trip sparked off Japan’s extremely negative reaction.
Japan is known to claim the islands. Moscow said in response that Russia’s sovereignty over the southern Kuril Islands, which formed part of the USSR as a result of the Second World War, was subject to no challenge, so the Russian leadership would continue paying working visits to the islands irrespective of how Tokyo might feel about it.
SOURCE : The Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012