"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.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Syrian Al Qaida group executes Lebanese soldier