Russia kept away from disputed islands during military drills: Minister



Moscow has not involved the Kuril Islands that it disputes with Tokyo during a major military drill, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said.

Russia heard about the concern from the Japanese side and did not use the territory during the Vostok-2018 (or East-2018) exercises, Xinhua quoted Shoigu as saying.

He was speaking on Monday at a meeting with the Chief of Joint Staff of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, who has appreciated the move.

The Vostok-2018 was held on September 11-15 and involved forces from Russia's Eastern and Central military districts, as well as its Northern Fleet and units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Mongolian Armed Forces.

Russia invited Japan too, but it refrained. The two have not signed a post-World War II peace treaty over their rival claims to four Pacific islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.- IANS