Why do you need Alaska, Putin asks pensioner

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not seriously consider the talk about Russia needing to reclaim Alaska, which was sold to the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not seriously consider the talk about Russia needing to reclaim Alaska, which was sold to the United States.

"Faina Ivanovna, dear, why do you need Alaska?" Putin said during a phone-in on Thursday, responding to a pensioner's question.

"We are a northern country. Seventy percent of our territory is the North and Far North. Is Alaska in the southern hemisphere? It is cold there, too. Let's not get overheated," Putin said.

"As a matter of fact, Alaska was sold in the 19th century. Louisiana was sold by the French to the United States around the same time. Thousands of square kilometers, thousands were sold for $7.2 million. In gold, though. The current equivalent can, of course, be calculated, but it was not expensive," the president said.

I am aware of some people in Russia jokingly calling Alaska "Ice-Crimea," he said.

The Alaskan territory was formed out of the former Russian domains in America, which, under an agreement signed in Washington on March 30, 1867 and ratified by the Senate on May 28 were ceded to the United States for $7.2 million. The formal handover ensued on November 11, 1867.

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