25 Feb '11, 10am

Russia may send warships to disputed Kurils

MOSCOW: Russia announced Friday it may send one or even two of the high-tech warships it is buying from France to help protect a chain of islands that is being bitterly claimed by Japan. The statement from Russia's top general is likely to infuriate the Japanese government that is already seething from an unprecedented November visit to the Kuril Islands by President Dmitry Medvedev. The sides failed to make any progress on the escalating row during a recent visit to Moscow by the Japanese foreign minister and have instead continued waging an angry war of words that appears to be becoming more heated with time. Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov kept up the pressure on Friday by revealing Russia was on the verge of sending at least one of its recently-purchased French Mistral helicopter carriers to the region. "We do not exclude that one or possibly two Mistrals will b...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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