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Zelensky declares Russian islands as Japanese

Japan and Russia have disputed the Kuril Islands for the reason that finish of World War II

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Friday recognizing the southern Kuril Islands as Japanese territory. The symbolic pronouncement got here two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legal guidelines accepting 4 former areas of Ukraine into the Russian Federation.

Zelensky’s decree acknowledges the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and the Habomai as Japan’s. While your complete Kurili archipelago has been Russian territory for the reason that finish of World War II, Japan claims these southernmost 4 as its personal, referring to them as its “Northern Territories.”

“An important decision was made today. Fair. Legally impeccable. Historical. Ukraine has reaffirmed its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Japan, including its Northern Territories, which are still under Russian occupation,” Zelensky stated in a video tackle.

Zelensky – who has vowed to retake all of Ukraine’s former territory, together with Crimea – declared that “it is necessary to liberate from Russian occupation all the lands that the occupiers are trying to keep.”

Japan has condemned Russia’s navy operation in Ukraine and imposed financial sanctions on Moscow. In March, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared the southernmost Kurils as “our ancestral territories,” after which Russia ended an settlement permitting Japanese residents to go to your complete archipelago with out visas, ceased joint financial actions with Tokyo on the islands, and broke off talks geared toward formally ending the dispute.

The two states by no means formally concluded a peace treaty after WWII, as a result of dispute over the 4 southernmost islands within the Kuril chain.

Zelensky’s decree was possible a response to Putin’s signing final week of accession decrees welcoming the previously Ukrainian areas of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye into the Russian Federation, after residents of all 4 overwhelmingly voted to affix Russia. Putin signed legal guidelines formalizing these provinces’ accession on Wednesday.

The Russian president has vowed to defend these newly-acquired territories with “all the means available” to Russia.