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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kurils Plan Denied

MOSCOW -- Russia on Tuesday dismissed reports that it was contemplating a plan to create a "special district" in the disputed South Kuril Islands in which Japan would have privileged status.

"These reports do not reflect the current negotiating position of the Russian side," Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said at a briefing.

"This idea circulates in academic circles," Rakhmanin said. "But it has not received and is not receiving practical consideration in the Russian Foreign Ministry, and still less between the Russian and Japanese sides."

Russian news agencies quoted Japanese press reports as saying Moscow was debating whether to place the islands under a new administrative regime in which the Japanese would receive "special status."