Moscow’s move comes after high-level visits from rivals China and Japan on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Russia has said a division of its Bastion coastal defense missile systems has been deployed to Paramushir, one of the North Pacific Kuril Islands, some of which Japan claims as its territory.
The move is part of a broader strengthening of Russian defenses in its vast far eastern regions, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday, partly in response to what he called the United States’ efforts to “contain” Russia and China. “.
Moscow’s move also comes after high-level visits by Asian leaders on both sides of the war in Ukraine.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a close US ally and a key Chinese rival in East Asia, made a surprise trip to Ukraine this week in what some observers said was an attempt to interrupt Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia. to overshadow.
“To contain Russia and China, the United States is significantly increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthening its political and military ties with its allies, and continuing to create a new U.S. security architecture in this region,” Shoigu said. in a statement. video of his address to Russia’s summit, published by the Ministry of Defense.
Shoigu said the Bastion system would bolster Russian security around the Kuril Islands chain.
Japan, a close US ally, claims the four southern Kuril Islands, which were taken by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. Japan does not claim Paramushir, one of the northern Kuril Islands.
The issue has deterred Moscow and Tokyo from ever signing a peace treaty that formally ends hostilities.
Russian forces in the east of the country have received about 400 pieces of modern military equipment in the past year, including Su-57 fighter jets and anti-aircraft missile systems, Shoigu said.
“The military capabilities of the Eastern Military District have increased significantly,” he said.
Shoigu also said that the modernization of Moscow’s air defense system will be completed this year.
Russian officials have blamed Kiev for a series of drone strikes deep into Russian territory since the start of the military campaign in Ukraine.
On the conflict in Ukraine, Shoigu said Russian aerospace forces have so far destroyed more than 20,000 Ukrainian military facilities since the start of what Moscow calls its “special military operation.”