NewsRussia warns Japan on missile transfer to Ukraine, threatens ties

Russia warns Japan on missile transfer to Ukraine, threatens ties

Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons

6:21 AM EDT, March 24, 2024

The Russian Ambassador in Tokyo, Nikolai Nozdrev, has issued a warning to Japan in response to the potential transfer of Patriot missiles produced in Japan to Ukraine. Nozdrev emphasized that such an action could have severe repercussions for the bilateral relations between Russia and Japan, including possible "retaliatory steps."

By the end of 2023, the White House announced Japan's agreement to a United States request to supply Patriot air defense systems. This decision was made possible by the Japanese government's liberalization of its previously restrictive export regulations on arms, allowing Japan to transfer weapons produced under a license from another country to foreign nations. According to the Associated Press, speculation arose about the potential deployment of these weapons by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia following this announcement.

Russian Ambassador in Tokyo Threatens Japan with Consequences

At the government agency Ria Novosti, Russian Ambassador Nikolai Nozdrev discussed the issue of the Patriot missiles. He warned of consequences should the missiles end up in Ukraine, indicating a rapid decision-making process by those involved to achieve this outcome. Nozdrev highlighted concerns over the American control of weapons owned by Japan and their discretionary use. He stressed Russia's intent to prevent the Patriots from reaching Ukraine to avoid drastic impacts on bilateral relations and potential retaliatory actions.

Territorial Dispute Between Russia and Japan

The relationship between Russia and Japan has been strained for years, primarily due to a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands. Following World War II, Japan officially renounced its rights to this archipelago in favour of the Soviet Union. However, the Japanese government argues that this renunciation did not include specific islands: Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, which Tokyo refers to as the Northern Territories. This distinction underlines the ongoing dispute over these territories.

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