Rumors Russia Could Have Its Eye on Taking Back Alaska

Russia reportedly responding to the U.S. continuing to freeze Russian assets.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Reports have begun to surface that a top Kremlin official is warning the United States that it should cease and desist from freezing Russian assets abroad.
  • International news reports state that Russia is threatening to reclaim Alaska if the U.S. doesn’t stop, while another official says the state could become “reparations” for damages caused by U.S. sanctions.
  • “Let America always remember, there is a part of [Russian] territory: Alaska,” Russia’s lower house speaker Vyacheslaw Volodin said Wednesday, as quoted by Hromadske.
  • “So when they start trying to dispose of our resources abroad, before they do it, let them think: we also have something to return.”
  • The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia since near the start of Russia’s conflict with neighboring nation Ukraine.
EARLIER COMMENTS THREATENING ALASKA:
  • Alaska’s close proximity to Russia put it in the crosshairs about a month into the between Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • In mid-March, Russian parliament member Oleg Matveychev made demands for “reparations” for the damage that economic sanctions have been imposed on Russia.
  • “We should be thinking about reparations from the damage that was caused by the sanctions and the war itself, because that too costs money and we should get it back. The return of all Russian properties, those of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia, which has been seized in the United States, and so on,” Matveychev said during an appearance on the Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev.
BACKGROUND:
  • Alaska and Russia are geographically near neighbors. Less than three miles separate Little Diomede Island in Alaska from Big Diomede Island in Russia.
  • Alaska was formerly a part of Russia, which had already built several colonies there before the U.S. purchased it in May 1867 for $7.2 million.
  • In October 1867, Alaska was formally ceded to the United States, and Russia’s aspirations to increase trade and settlements in North America came to an end with the purchase.