Kuril island may be named after Soviet diplomat Gromyko

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. Feb 11 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry’s office in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has suggested to the Sakhalin division of the Russian Geographic Society naming an unnamed Kuril island after Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko.

The Sakhalin division backed the proposal and submitted it to the Moscow office of the Russian Geographic Society for approval, Vladimir Nosov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s representative in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, told Interfax.

“Despite the fact that Andrei Gromyko has never been to Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, he played an important role for the Sakhalin region. He represented the Soviet people’s foreign affairs commissariat, the group that prepared the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam Conferences,” the source said.

That group prepared several important documents, which were signed by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, including the documents on the conditions of the USSR’s participation in the war with Japan and the return to the Soviet Union of Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, which Russia lost in the Russian-Japanese war, the source said.

“We want to give tribute to our country’s foreign policy agency, thanks to which the Sakhalin region exists in its current borders now,” Nosov said.

The office of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk opened an exhibit entitled “Andrei Gromyko: Serving the Fatherland” in the Sakhalin region’s natural history museum before Diplomat’s Day, which was marked on February 10, he said.