MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin called on experts Thursday to examine a proposal to have a new constitution include a clause banning the cession of Russian territory.
The proposal, raised in a meeting of a working group to discuss a revision of the Russian Constitution put forward by Putin, is expected to influence Tokyo-Moscow negotiations over four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan.
Putin said that, while Russia is negotiating some territorial issues with other countries, he likes the proposal. He also expressed willingness to consult with legal experts on how to include the proposed clause in the new constitution.
The clause was proposed by working group member and actor Vladimir Mashkov, who said that foreign countries may ramp up demands for disputed territories after Putin leaves office when his term as president expires in 2024.
Mashkov raised concerns over the fate of the four islands claimed by Japan, as well as over Crimea, which Russia took from Ukraine in 2014, and Kaliningrad, which Moscow acquired from Germany after World War II.
The actor said the new constitution should include a clause banning territorial negotiations altogether, in addition to the ban on ceding territory.