Japan won’t get Kuril Islands – Mironov
“There is no territorial dispute with Japan. The Kuril islands are our territory,” Mironov stressed, adding that no talks are possible on the matter. On Tuesday, speaking at a media conference in Moscow, Mironov outlined the main directions of his policies if he makes it to the Kremlin. In foreign policy, the presidential candidate stands for pragmatic relations based on Russia’s national interests. Mironov vowed to “articulate national policy very clearly, without looking back at one or another’s positions or previous agreements.” He would then pursue that policy, “protecting any Russian citizen” anywhere in the world. The politician also believes that the country should adequately respond to any threats it might face, including the potential danger from America’s controversial missile defense shield in Europe. According to the candidate, the planned US-NATO missile shield is nothing but “an element of nuclear offensive forces.” “We shouldn’t muddy the waters on the issue. We should call a spade a spade and react accordingly,” Mironov stressed, adding that the response would be “symmetrical and asymmetrical.”Mironov is also clear that the development of relations with neighboring states and the CIS must become a priority for Moscow. “I think it’s necessary to further integration processes in the post-Soviet space, including with the aim to establish a confederation of Slavic states (uniting Russia, Ukraine and Belarus),” Mironov said. “The creation of a Eurasian Union is also necessary and promising.” As for internal policy, the Fair Russia leader suggested a number of changes he would introduce if he becomes head of state. Mironov believes that judges in Russia should be elected by citizens, corruption must be equated to high treason, a luxury tax must be introduced and some presidential powers should be delegated to the parliament. Just like other opposition candidates, the Fair Russia leader insists that the president should only remain in the post for two terms in his or her lifetime. Mironov also proposed to “temporarily” cut defense spending in order to tackle the social gap between the rich and the poor in Russia. The politician also outlined changes he would make to government structure if he landed the top job. Several more ministers– including a Geology Minister, a Minister on Biological Resources and Ecology, and a one on nationalities– would appear in the cabinet. Mironov also named some of the figures he would like to see in his government.Oksana Dmitrieva, who is a State Duma deputy for Fair Russia, would be appointed Prime Minister. Dmitry Rogozin, current Deputy Prime Minister and the country’s former NATO envoy, would be invited to head the Foreign Ministry. Grigory Yavlinsky, one of the leaders of the Yabloko party, who was refused registration as a presidential candidate, could become Economic Development Minister. Mironov also said that he would want to see famous opposition blogger Alexey Navalny heading up the Chamber of Accounts.