Alaska and the Bear

Has Russia a reversion right to Alaska?

An idle thought. Suppose the Alaskan Independence Party had its way. Alaska was part of the Russian empire for a century up to 1867, when the Tsar ceded it to the USA to keep out the Brits. If the USA no longer wants Alaska, surely it reverts to Russia. Wouldn’t Putin and Medvedev, as legal successors to the Tsars, have an arguable right to seize the place, overcoming the doubtless heroic and futile resistance of the Alaskan National Guard? The claim would be stronger than to recently annexed South Ossetia. Watch out for Russian agents distributing free passports in Nome.

Seward’s Day is a public holiday in Alaska, so I’m sure its Governor has an informed view.

Update: Robert Farley beat me to the Russian nightmare by five hours. But only the RBC brings you the link to the original treaty, with contemporary version in French to prove it was Serious.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web