Russia's Mishustin Says Possibility Of Free Customs Regime In Kurils Under Discussion


Russia's Mishustin Says Possibility of Free Customs Regime in Kurils Under Discussion

KURILSK (Iturup Island) (UrduPoint news / Sputnik - 26th July, 2021) Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says that the possibility of introducing a free customs territory in the Kuril Islands is currently being discussed.

Mishustin arrived on the island of Iturup on Monday.

"Of course, significant benefits are needed here so that people working here do not waste time on filling out various types of documents, so that the tax burden for them due to climate conditions, difficult working conditions on the islands, is quite different. We are primarily discussing the possibility, to date, of introducing a free customs territory regime here," Mishustin said on Monday, during a meeting with representatives of the Kuril fishing enterprises.

Japan claims the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai islands in Russia's Kuril Island chain, which they refer to as the "Northern Territories" (Russia refers to them as the Southern Kurils). Russia insists that its sovereignty over the islands, which became part of the USSR after WWII, is undisputed.

Japan plans to voice protest to Russia with respect to Mishustin's visit to the island of Iturup, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters on Monday.