A billboard saying “Alaska is Ours” has been spotted in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk, a day after a key ally of President Putin said that the country could reclaim Alaska sold to the United States in 1867. Residents of Krasnoyarsk were surprised after spotting the billboards across the city, Thursday. However, they do not appear to have been placed by the Russian government.
Alaska was once part of Russia. On March 30, 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million, according to the US Library of Congress.
Dr Ian Garner, a Russian media watcher, tweets, “Alaska is Ours! As spotted in Krasnoyarsk. They’ve gone totally mad.”
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The threatening billboards appear just a day after Putin’s ally and speaker of Russia’s lower house of Parliament Duma Vyacheslav Volodin suggested that Moscow could “take back” Alaska in retaliation for economic sanctions imposed by the West following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Volodin and another top Russian official reportedly warned that sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and other Western countries over the Ukraine war could lead to direct military conflicts including a potential invasion of Alaska.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Blinken would not meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of G20. Blinken last saw Lavrov in January in Geneva, where the top US diplomat warned Russia of massive consequences if it went ahead and invaded Ukraine.
Walking a tight rope as G20 host, Indonesia has not withdrawn invitations to Russia. President Putin has stated he will attend the summit in November. All the same, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also been invited.
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(with inputs from agencies)