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Russia’s handover of Japan-claimed isles impossible: Medvedev

Moscow, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)–Russia cannot hand over any of the four northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan given its revised Constitution, former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

 

Such a handover was impossible even before the constitutional reform, but a clause in the revised Constitution now stipulates that any act aimed at ceding any part of Russia’s territories will not be tolerated, Medvedev said at an online conference.

 

On his visit to one of the four islands in 2010, when he was Russian president, Medvedev, now deputy head of the Russian Security Council, said he made the trip after Japan issued a hardline statement.

 

The trip made Medvedev the first Russian head of state to visit any of the disputed islands. He has now traveled to the islands a total of four times.

 

The islands were seized from Japan by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II. The territorial dispute has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a peace treaty to formally end their wartime hostilities.

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