Russian mayor demands Alaskan island be returned to Russia

Russia sold Alaska and the surrounding islands to the United States in 1857 for $7.2 million in gold.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   March 26, 2014 at 4:32 PM

A Russian mayor in the Siberian city of Yakutsk has demanded that a small Alaskan island be returned to the Russian Orthodox Church.

"2014 we will mark the 220th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church mission to North America and this is a perfect time to pay attention to the Russian America. I stand for the restoration of historical justice -- the return of Spruce Island to its lawful owner -- the Russian Orthodox Church." Yakutsk Mayor Aysen Nikolayev told a local newspaper.

Yakutsk researchers claim they found a certificate of transfer in the Alaskan capital of Juneau that says the island was granted to the Russian Orthodox Church "for eternity." A senior church official said the papers must be studied for verification of their validity.

Spruce island has 250 residents who are still considered to be living on American soil.

[HuffPost Live]

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