By Bob Miller
During the final press conference at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), held in Vladivostok from September 4 to 6, 2019, a journalist from the Japanese broadcasting organization NHK made a question about the construction of a fish processing plant on the island of Shikotan, which is a part of the Russian Kuril Islands Chain. The journalist tried to find out the attitude of the Russian government to the Japanese protests against the construction of this plant.
According to a statement by the representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, Y. Trutnev, Russia will continue to build new plants on the islands, because they are part of Russian territory. He also noted that «it is strange when someone protests against the construction of enterprises in our territories».
It is important to emphasize that the position of the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin to the ownership of the islands remains unchanged. Indeed, during the Forum, he noted that if the issue of the territorial affiliation of the Kuril Islands is considered from the point of view of 1945, «there are no questions».
Despite the fact that Russia and Japan continue to cooperate closely with each other in the trade and economic sphere, it is obvious that Moscow is not going to transfer islands rights to Tokyo.
Due to historical events, Alaska, which came under US administration on October 18, 1867, and the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia), becoming independent states on September 6, 1991, ceased to exist as Russian lands on the world cartography. Russia then established diplomatic relations with the Baltic countries, and during the sale of Alaska, relations between Russia and the United States were at the peak of friendly relations, and there were no grounds for political conflicts between the states.
However, today the situation between these states is different, partly due to the unresolved Ukrainian issue. Washington is not satisfied with the activity of Moscow in the Arctic zone, which is considered as one of the main potential areas of the future military conflict due to the huge deposits of oil, gas and the favorable location of the Russian Northern Sea Route.
For example, on January 11, 2019, the US Navy Minister Richard Spencer announced his intention to strengthen the US position in the Arctic and respond to Russia's "excessive claims": P-8 "Poseidon" ships and anti-submarine patrol aircraft will be deployed in the Adak Island area to monitor the activities of the Pacific fleet of the Russian Federation. In turn, the State Duma of the Russian Federation believes that the actions of the United States are aggressive in nature and do not exclude that Americans will disregard the rules of international law.
Moreover, Americans today are creating the necessary infrastructure for the operational redeployment of troops and in the Baltic States, against the background of the supposedly existing threat to the Baltic countries from Russia. It should be recalled that in 2017, the US Vice President Michael Pence in Tallinn said that Russia poses a threat to the Baltic States and promised that NATO will strictly adhere to the fifth article of the alliance's charter, according to which an attack on one of the NATO members is an attack on all members of the North Atlantic Alliance. Speaking about relations between the United States and Russia, Pence noted that President Donald Trump is ready to improve them, but "first, the Russians must stop the hostile actions that led to the adoption of sanctions".
At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Russia will never attack any of the NATO countries. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, NATO is well aware of the absence of Moscow’s plans to attack anyone, but simply uses the occasion to deploy more equipment and battalions near the Russian borders.
For example, the Americans place their military bases and ranges in the territory of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, having even signed a joint communiqué between these countries in November 2018, where they expressed their determination to continue to increase military budgets.
But, despite the statements of the Baltic countries that their military doctrines are exclusively defensive in nature, it is obvious that the government of the US President D. Trump, sponsoring Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the military sphere simply invests the budget in itself, imposing three countries their ideas and crushing them under their control. And also, strengthening its position in the former territories of Russia, including Alaska, clearly demonstrates attempts to influence Russia, acting together with these states, making them puppets, continuing to fuel the confrontational line that stems from the unresolved Ukrainian issue. Therefore, we are witnessing the process of increasing the grouping of the US and NATO troops on the western borders of the Russian Federation. And it is obvious that in response to this activity of the Pentagon, Moscow will take retaliatory measures.
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