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Oil in exchange for the Kuril Islands

Нефть в обмен на Курилы

Vice-Premier Dvorkovich promised Japan control over Russian oil fields.

Russia is ready to offer Japanese investors the stakes in its oil and gas projects. The Vice Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who oversees the oil and gas industry, said in an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, published on 22 February. And we are talking about the majority, that is, the control packages. Thus, the main beneficiaries — the beneficiaries — from the development of Russian deposits will become of the Japanese Corporation. They will determine the economic parameters of the project. Earlier Moscow, which is considered strategic enterprises, foreigners were denied in the final vote. Now the policy has changed.

The first “call” was sounded in November of last year, when at the conference “energy bridge Russia — Japan” President of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin admitted that Russia’s state Corporation invited the Japanese companies to join energy projects with total reserves of 6 billion barrels. It was about the Sakhalin shelf, i.e. in relatively close proximity to Japan. Similarly, the Russian side is already working with China, developing deposits in Siberia. The most famous project is the construction of the gas pipeline “Power of Siberia” in the framework of the agreement between “Gazprom” and “China national petroleum Corporation”.

Radical turn from unconditional priority of the state control over subsoil to a more loyal attitude to the admission of foreigners occurred after Western sanctions aimed at depriving Russia of access to cheap credit. The pretext for the restrictions was the crisis in Ukraine, which in provoking Russia has been accused. Lacking access to Western loans to Russian state-owned companies turned to the East, Yes so quickly that many substantiated indicated that no import substitution in the financial sector did not happen — the dependence on Western countries only changed in dependence on China. Now China will be added Japan.

In the interview, Dvorkovich said that despite sanctions, Russia already “has a constructive cooperation with Japanese companies” and this creates a fertile ground to prepare the visit of Vladimir Putin to Japan. The time travel is still not defined, but the visit seems to have become for both parties is so important that diplomats talk about it constantly. An obvious reason for the lack of progress is the inability to advance in the signing of the peace agreement, claimed by Japan and is in no hurry to push Russia. Recorded the results of the Second world war Russian the status of the Kuril Islands is convenient to Moscow and further discussion is not needed. However, the Japanese do not get tired to show on this site claim.

Peace Tokyo

Apparently, to appease the Tokyo Metropolitan government and pledged to the Japanese not only involved in field development, but also control over them. Economic benefit is a powerful incentive, and the desire to get “sweet” pieces of Russian state property will temper the territorial aspirations of our Eastern neighbor. So, probably, they reasoned in the government. Additionally, Japan promised to cooperate in the field of development of the Kuril Islands. According to Dvorkovich, there is preparing the establishment of the economic zone of new type. What is the “novelty” Deputy Prime Minister was silent, but from the context, we can assume a deeper penetration of Japanese business in the economy of the Russian territories. Including with the establishment of economic control over them.

For Japan, this game is worth the candle. In the depths of the South Kuril Islands found a variety of minerals: gold and silver polymetallic ore containing zinc, copper, vanadium, etc. of Particular value is the ore of the metal rhenium, used in particular in the manufacture of jet engines. There are deposits of volcanic sulphur and thermal water — a valuable resource for tourism development. The Japanese invited by Dvorkovich, will be where to turn. It, apparently, and calculation. To move away from confrontation, find a common interest, and then to “strangle in embraces”. To make in Tokyo resigned to the loss of the Islands, satisfied with current benefits. This is the way, Yes, but he is unlikely to bring the expected results.

The impression that the government was offering Japanese partners joint business, proceeds from the priority of Economics over politics. Supposedly, the Kuril problem is only confusing for serious people to do business, to profit. And if to find a mutually acceptable option, the problem eventually resolve itself — Japan would accept the loss of the Islands. And here, the Ministers-capitalists run the risk of getting trapped. Vulgar Marxism, explaining all the economic reasons that may lead Russia to defeat. Even if the economic importance of the Kuril Islands was zero, give them all the same it would be impossible for reasons political. A nation, a country that voluntarily give up their land, is doomed to give, give and give. The Kuril Islands will become a precedent. This can be followed and Sakhalin.

For the same reason Japan continues to demand the return of her territories. Moreover, this common position of all political forces, regardless of color. During the reign of Boris Yeltsin , the Country of the rising sun at one point was close to success, but the planned visit of the Russian President to Japan, which could be fatal, was, in fact, thwarted by the representatives of the staff, who considered the cession invalid. Since then, Russia only increasing its presence, including military.

Recently, however, in Tokyo changed tactics. Confrontational rhetoric was replaced by flattery and peacefulness. “To resolve the territorial dispute, a peace Treaty, step by step, we will strengthen relationships in a wide range of fields such as economy, energy and culture. We will look for any opportunity to build a dialogue,” said Prime Minister Abe and even established a special post of special representative for relations with Russia. Its functions will include the preparation of a peace Treaty. Another amazing initiative — to represent Russia at the forthcoming summit of G-7, where Japan in 2016 Chairman.

Realizing that to return the Kuril Islands by force is impossible, Japan literally is trying to ingratiate himself. “The territorial problem is not a simple… For both sides a solution to this problem is accompanied by risk. However, President Putin was able to develop a trusting relationship. I trust him completely. I think Putin also knows that the solution of this problem will positively affect the development of Russia”, — said the other day Abe the same edition of the Nikkei Asian Review. Previously announced in 2016 an informal meeting of Putin and Abe on the territorial issue in Khabarovsk or Vladivostok. As you can see, the interest of Japanese politicians to the subject did not fade. They only change the ways to achieve the goal. Try different.

In these circumstances, to rely on appeasement Tokyo, hoped that the political elite of Japan can “buy” for economic preferences is naive and short-sighted. This attempt itself is already a demonstration of weakness. Even if we manage to win the next generation of Japanese politicians will continue to bend the line. But the conditions in which they will act, can not be changed in favor of Russia. Recall, from the autumn of 2015 the self-defense Forces of Japan for the first time received the right of conducting hostilities outside the territory of the country, and funding of the armed forces increased to a record 42 billion dollars. Taking into account military and political support the U.S. is a significant strength. One day she can be brought to bear.

The only solution can be a solid and permanent “no” to the claims of the Japanese and even the refusal to joint the business if they pedaliruyut subject Smoked. No need to try thus to buy their locations. On the contrary, it is necessary to put joint economic projects on the basis of political behavior. The word “Kuriles” you should immediately say goodbye.

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