Oleg Matveychev, a member of the State Duma, outlined on Russian state television what he is demanding in reparations from the United States over the sanctions we have placed on them. He wants all of Alaska, the Antarctic, and part of California, although he said he would settle for just part of Alaska as long as we don’t force them to take any part of California.
Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867 for $7.2 million dollars. At the time, it was considered a bad deal and was known as Seward’s Folly. It wasn’t until the Gold Rush that people began to consider the purchase to be worth the money.
Currently, Antarctica is co-owned but Russia has claimed the entire continent, which is bigger than any country other than Russia at over 5.1 million square miles, with a total population of zero. Although nit consists mostly of hard-packed ice, it has been believed to contain vast resources underneath, including fossil fuels. Its net worth could be staggering.
Matveychev also wants the former Russian settlement of Fort Ross, California, 90 miles north of San Francisco. Fort Ross was founded in 1812 and was sold just a few years later because it was losing money hand over fist.
“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.”
“That was my next point. As well as the Antarctic. We discovered it, so it belongs to us.”
A Russian colony was established Fort Ross on California’s Sonoma coast in 1812. After several years of struggling to grow crops and tensions with Americans in the area, the property was sold in 1841 after it became clear the area was a financial liability, according to the Fort Ross Conservancy.
The demands made by Matveychev are likely to be ignored as the U.S. ratchets up sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, the State Department announced fresh sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko, the Kremlin’s ally in Belarus, and 11 other Russian officials.
On Tuesday, Moscow imposed retaliatory sanctions against President Biden and administration officials. White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed off the potential impact the measures could have.