(NEXSTAR) – A Russian lawmaker has reportedly demanded America return Alaska to his country amid U.S.-led sanctions against Russia. He also asked for Fort Ross, located in California, as part of his requested “return of all Russian properties.”
Speaking on an evening talk show Sunday, Oleg Matveychev, a member of the Russian parliament, listed off his country’s future demands, The Daily Beast reports.
“We should be thinking about reparations from the damage that was caused by the sanctions and the war itself, because that too costs money and we should get it back,” Matveychev reportedly said. “The return of all Russian properties, those of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia, which has been seized in the United States, and so on.”
When asked if that included Alaska and Fort Ross, Matveychev agreed.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy responded to Matveychev’s comments, saying, “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,” Dunleavy wrote on Twitter.
Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski echoed Dunleavy, tweeting a GIF saying her state returning to Russia would “never, ever, ever happen!”
According to the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers, a Russian expedition arrived in Alaska in 1741, thousands of years after scientists say the first people came after crossing the Bering Land Bridge. In April 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in gold.
Fort Ross, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, was home to a Russian-American Company settlement between 1812 and 1841, according to a description of the now-historic state park’s webpage. It was later sold off after officials decided to leave the colony.
The U.S. is among more than 30 countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of Western businesses have also changed their dealings with Russia, causing an even greater economic strain on the country.