Russia is Making a Move in Asia

The Russian government declared that a Bastion coastal defense missile system had been put in place on Paramushir, which belongs to the Kuril Islands, which Japan lays claim to a portion of.

Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, declared that the nation was fortifying its extensive eastern territories to counter what he described as the United States attempts to “restrain” Russia and China.

Russia says this is their response against the US “attempt” to dominate the Asia-Pacific region. 

“To contain Russia and China, the United States is significantly increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthening its political and military links with its allies, continuing to create a new American security architecture in this region,” Shoigu said, according to Reuters.

Russia and Japan have a long history of military confrontation, beginning in the late 16th century when Tsar Ivan IV sought to expand Russia’s borders. After three separate wars, large parts of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands were annexed by Russia in 1875. Since then, tensions between the two nations have remained high over their contested ownership of these islands.

Japan has asserted its ownership over the four southern Kuril Islands, which Soviet forces took control of in the aftermath of World War II. However, Japan cannot claim Paramushir, an island among the northern Kuril Islands

In recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have developed an informal alliance that has been seen as a challenge to US influence in the region. The partnership seeks to increase economic cooperation while simultaneously countering US-led initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and strengthening security ties across Asia-Pacific. By establishing a closer partnership between Russia and China, both nations hope to limit the United States influence in the region and strengthen their own geopolitical standing.