Russia says to build military base on contested Kurile Islands

Sun sets near the rusty hulk of a ship that is stranded on the beach in Yuzhno-Kurilsk, the main settlement on the Southern Kuril island of Kunashir. (File photo: Reuters)

Russia plans to build a military base on the Kurile Islands, a group of Pacific islands it seized from Japan at the end of World War Two, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday, according to the Interfax news agency.

The move is likely to worsen already frayed relations with Tokyo which lays claim to the Southern Kuriles, known in Japan as the Northern Territories. The dispute is so acrimonious that Moscow and Tokyo have still not signed a formal peace treaty after the war.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47