Over the weekend, a Russian senator demanded that the US restore Alaska and a historic community in California and compensate Russia for devastating American-led sanctions that have stifled Moscow’s economy.
Oleg Matveychev, a member of the Russian state Duma, presented a list of demands to the US and Ukraine on Russian state television following Kyiv’s “demilitarisation,” the Express newspaper in the United Kingdom said.
The demands involve the return of Alaska, which the United States bought from the Russian Empire in 1867 as a portion of the Alaska Purchase, and the old Russian outpost of Fort Ross, California, located 90 miles north of San Francisco.
“We should consider compensation for the harm inflicted by the sanctions and the conflict itself because that costs more money and should be recovered,” Matveychev said in a Sunday appearance.
He also demanded the “return of all Russian properties, including those of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union, and contemporary Russia, that the United States has captured, and so on.”
He was afterward questioned as to whether he meant Alaska and Fort Ross.
“That brought me to my next point. Along with the Antarctic, “‘He stated. “We discovered it; thus, it is ours.”
According to the State Department, the sale of Alaska brought a stop to the Russian Empire’s commercial growth and colonization attempts along the United States’ Pacific coast. The United States government purchased the area for $7.2 million.
The transaction was dubbed “Seward’s Folly” by opponents, referring to then-Secretary of State William H. Seward, a proponent of American expansion.
After 1896, when thousands of people shifted to the region to pursue gold, the title fell out of favor.
In 1812, Fort Ross on California’s Sonoma coast was constructed as a Russian settlement. According to the Fort Ross Conservancy, after several years of struggle to develop crops and confrontations with nearby Americans, the land was sold in 1841 when it became evident that the region was a financial loss.
Matveychev’s requests are likely to be rebuffed as the US tightens sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, the State Department imposed new penalties on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, a Kremlin ally, and 11 other Russian officials.
Moscow retaliated against President Biden and members of the administration on Tuesday. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, downplayed the possible impact of the actions.
“I would say that none of us are planning tourist excursions to Russia,” she remarked. “None of us has bank accounts that will be inaccessible. As a result, we shall proceed.”