MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that he will visit the disputed Kuril Islands soon, Russian news agencies reported.
"I will fly there by all means. It is a very important region in our country," Medvedev said in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, quoted by Interfax news agency.
The president, who was now participating in a commissioning ceremony of the gas pipeline there, said that he would like to fly to the Kurils immediately but the weather was not suitable.
"But we'll do this soon," he said.
The Kuril Islands in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, is a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300 km northeast from Japan's Hokkaido to Russia's Kamchatka. All the 56 islands are under Russian jurisdiction but Japan claims the four southernmost as part of its territory, which has led to the ongoing Kuril Islands dispute.