VLADIVOSTOK: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visits a fish processing plant on a Pacific island also claimed by Japan.—AP
VLADIVOSTOK: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visits a fish processing plant on a Pacific island also claimed by Japan.—AP

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday visited the disputed Kuril Islands and said authorities wanted to establish a free economic zone there, sparking a protest from Japan.

The Kurils, which lie north of Japan’s Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops in the dying days of World War II.

The territorial dispute has kept the two countries from signing a peace accord that would formally end their wartime hostilities.

During his visit to Iturup, the largest and northernmost island of the archipelago, Mishustin proposed exempting the islands from customs duty and reducing taxes for businesses. “This set of measures is unprecedented,” Mishustin said.

“We may also think about exempting from taxpayer obligations those who work and invest here,” Mishustin added.

He added that the measures would be extended to the main activities on the island with some exemptions, such as the production of alcohol.

“This special regime will help intensify economic activity here. I will report these proposals to the Russian president and a relevant decision will be made,” Mishustin said.

The Japanese foreign ministry issued a protest over Mishustin’s visit to the Northern Territories, as they are known in Japan, and summoned the Russian ambassador.

In a post on Facebook, ambassador Mikhail Galuzin called the protest “unacceptable”.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...