Russia cancels agreement with Japan on visa-free entry to the Kuriles

Russia terminated the agreement with Japan on a simplified visit to the Kuriles. The corresponding order was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The agreement has been in effect since 1991. Thus, Japanese citizens can no longer visit the Kuriles without a visa. Mishustin also canceled the agreement of 1999, according to which the former residents of the islands of Kunashir, Iturup and several other islands of the Lesser Kuril ridge could visit them in a simplified manner.

The Southern Kuriles became part of the USSR in 1946, which was not recognized by Japan. She did not recognize their belonging to Russia, however, despite this, she negotiated cooperation in this area. In 1956, the USSR promised to return the islands of Shikotan and Habomai to Japan and signed a corresponding declaration. In subsequent years, countries were supposed to sign a peace declaration, but this never happened. The islands are still under Russian control.

At the end of March, Japan returned the wording about the occupation of the Kuril Islands by Russia to the Blue Book of Diplomacy. Now the diplomatic handbook states that "the northern territories are an integral part of Japan and are currently illegally occupied by Russia." The last time “occupation” was mentioned in the reference book was in 2003, and the Kuril Islands belonged to Japan in 2011.


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