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Russia Deploys Coastal Missile Systems On Disputed Kurile Islands

An aerial view shows Kunashiri Island, one of four islands known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia.

Russia says it has deployed Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems on the disputed Kurile Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian Pacific Fleet's Boyevaya Vakhta (Combat Watch) newspaper reported on November 22 that the missile systems have entered into service on the islands of Iturup and Kunashir.

The Bastion system has been developed to defend coastal areas stretching more than 600 kilometers and destroy surface ships. The Bal system's antiship missile has a range of 120 kilometers.

Tokyo-Moscow relations have been hampered for decades by a dispute over the Kurile Islands, which Soviet troops seized at the end of the World War II.

Lingering tensions over the islands have prevented Japan and Russia from ever signing a peace treaty to formally end the war.

Based on reporting by RIA and Interfax