Russia's State Duma: Tokyo's demarche over South Kurils will have opposite effect

Tokyo's protests against Russian leaders' visits to the Southern Kuril Islands will only make such visits more frequent said Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee.

"The demarche logic and heightened nervosity of the assessments of the Russian leaders' visits to the islands, which will apparently continue, is counterproductive. It is clear that the visits will become more frequent after the protests," Pushkov said at a news conference in Moscow.

He urged Japan to "stop expressing surprise" in connection with Russian leaders' visits to the islands which remain the subject of the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan.

The practice of protests is undermining attempts to broaden relations and to bring them to a qualitatively new level, Pushkov said.

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