A Russian lawmaker is demanding “reparations” from the United States for the Biden administration’s economic sanctions, including the return of Alaska and a portion of California.
“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,” Federal Assembly of Russia member Oleg Matveychev said on Russian state television on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail.
“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,” he continued.
When asked if he was specifically referring to Alaska and the former Russian settlement at Fort Ross, California, Matveychev said they both “belong to [Russia].”
“That was my next point. As well as the Antarctic,” Matveychev added. “We discovered it, so it belongs to us.”
While Russia first settled in Alaska in 1784 with a colony called Three Saints Bay, the U.S. bought Alaska in 1867 during President Andrew Johnson’s administration for $7.2 million.
A Russian-American company also established Fort Ross outside modern-day San Francisco in 1812, but they later sold the settlement to private individuals in 1841.
The demands follow Russia’s latest move to sanction President Joe Biden and a number of other Americans, including his son Hunter Biden. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new Russian sanctions are in retaliation to the sanctions the U.S. imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Beyond President Biden and his son, the list of sanctioned Americans includes Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Duleep Singh, Director of the Agency for International Development Samantha Powers, First Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale Adeyemo and President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank Reta Joe Lewis.
Last week, Biden issued an executive order which blocks U.S. imports on certain Russian products, including seafood, vodka and diamonds. According to NBC News, the order will block over $1 billion in revenue for Russia.
“And we’re going to continue to squeeze Putin. The G7 will seek to deny Russia the ability to borrow from leading multinational institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,” Biden said at the time. “Putin is an aggressor — is the aggressor. And Putin must pay the price.”
Late last month, the White House announced it will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In alignment with our European allies, the United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced during a press briefing.