Russia to Rearm Troops on Kuril Islands by September
16:09 24.07.2015(updated 16:32 24.07.2015)
Russia will rearm its troops stationed on the Kuril Islands by September, the defense minister said.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian troops deployed to the Kuril Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk will be rearmed by September, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.
"We are carrying out the rearmament of the armed forces of the Eastern Military District, deployed to the Kuril Islands on the scheduled basis. This activity would be mostly completed by September," Shoigu said at a session of the Russian Defense Ministry.
He added that the ministry will create proper housing and infrastructure for servicemen and their families.
Earlier in July, Japan raised concerns about a Russian military build-up in the east of the country, including on the Kuril Islands, in the draft version of its annual defense report. Later, the lower house of parliament passed a bill allowing the government to use Japanese forces overseas. The country has seen protests against what has been described as a breach of the post-WWII 'pacifist' constitution.
Russia is undergoing large-scale military reforms, launched in 2008. The measures include a rearmament program estimated to cost about 20 trillion rubles (about $348.6 billion) and the renovating of military infrastructure.
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