Russian State TV Revives Effort to Reclaim Alaska From U.S.

A panelist on Russian state-run TV recently revived an effort for Moscow to reclaim Alaska from the U.S.

On Friday, the Russian Media Monitor YouTube channel, run by Julia Davis, a columnist for the Daily Beast, posted a video from the Russia-1 state-run news channel, where Yevgeny Satanovsky, the president of Russia's Institute of the Middle East, can be heard speaking about the Congress of Vienna.

"The Congress of Vienna [of 1814-1815] conceded that Warsaw belongs to the Russian Empire. The Congress of Vienna conceded that Finland belongs to the Russian Empire. I agree to return not to the Helsinki boundaries, but at least to the borders of the Congress of Vienna," Satanovsky said.

"Alaska is ours again," he added.

In 1867, the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, according to the Library of Congress.

"The treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl. Critics of the deal to purchase Alaska called it 'Seward's Folly' or 'Seward's Icebox,'" the Library of Congress said.

American flag in Alaska
A general view from the top of Mount Marathon prior to the Men's Division of the 91st Running of the Mount Marathon Race on July 4, 2018, in Seward, Alaska. On Friday, a Russian state-TV panelist revived an effort for Russia to reclaim Alaska from the U.S. Lance King/Getty

According to The Washington Post, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked about Moscow reclaiming Alaska from the U.S. in 2014. Putin responded by asking, "Why do you need Alaska?" and noted that residents should "not get worked up about" the U.S. state.

However, amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, tensions between Russia and the U.S. have continued to escalate and some Russian officials recently spoke about the possibility of reclaiming Alaska. Throughout the Russia-Ukraine war, the U.S. and other Western nations have continued to supply Ukraine with military aid, including an array of defense weapons, prompting criticism from Russia.

In July, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the Russian state Duma, delivered a speech and spoke about Alaska, responding to U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

"When they [U.S. lawmakers] attempt to appropriate our assets abroad, they should be aware that we also have something to claim back," Volodin said, according to the Associated Press.

Also in July, the Siberian news agency NGS24 reported that several billboards appeared in the city of Krasnoyarsk, saying, "Alaska is Ours!"

In a tweet responding to the comments made by Volodin, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said, "To the Russian politicians who believe they can take back Alaska: Good luck."

In addition to speaking about Alaska, Russian state-run TV guest Dmitry Kulikov said that Russia has been at war with the U.S. "since 1945."

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department for comment.