July 1, 2022

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Lawmakers reject Russian official's request to return Alaska: 'Never, ever, ever'

Lawmakers reject Russian official’s request to return Alaska: ‘Never, ever, ever’

Alaska lawmakers are assuring a Russian official who said the U.S. should return Alaska and other areas to Russia that it’s just not happening.

Russian parliament member Oleg Matveychev on a TV program addressed waves of sanctions against Russia in response to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, saying leaders should “think about reparations.”

“The harm these sanctions caused us cost money. Return of possessions, including possessions of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and even parts of Russia that are now occupied by the United States,” Matveychev said on Sunday, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The host of the show asked Matveychev about the return of Alaska and Fort Ross, which was established by Russians in California, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

“This is my next point – recognizing Alaska, Fort Ross and Antarctica,” Matveychev responded, according to the Anchorage Daily News. “We actually discovered it, so it rightfully belongs to us.”

The United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in 1867. Alaska was admitted as a state in 1959.

Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski balked at the statement, tweeting coverage of the comments and a gif of Taylor Swift with the caption “That will never, ever, ever happen!”

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy also responded to the comments, tweeting “Good luck with that!”

“Not if we have something to say about it. We have hundreds of thousands of armed Alaskans and military members that will see it differently,” he added.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued calling for a no-fly zone in Ukraine, or at least additional military hardware, sanctions and other actions targeting Russia as the country continues its invasion of Ukraine.