Moscow: Russian fighter jets were deployed
to escort the plane carrying President Dmitry Medvedev on his
visit to the Kuril Islands after Japanese jets were detected
in the area, a Russian daily said on Tuesday.
Quoting an anonymous source in the presidential
administration, the newspaper Kommersant said the Su-27
fighter planes were deployed because Japanese fighter jets had
been detected taking off shortly before Medvedev`s arrival on
the Russian island of Sakhalin, from where he travelled to one
of the Kuril Islands.
Asked about the report, the Kremlin`s press service
refused to comment, with a spokesman telling AFP, "Public
information is on our web site. If this information is not
there, we have no comment."
The press service of the Russian air force also
refused to comment.
Medvedev today flew into the island of Kunashir in the
first visit by a Russian leader to the isles, claimed by Japan
in a dispute that has prevented a post-World War II peace
treaty between the two neighbours.
The Kuril Islands, which lie north of Japan`s Hokkaido
island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized
by Soviet troops at the end of World War II, but Tokyo claims
the southernmost four as Japanese territory.