TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not annex Alaska as Russia still wanted to build good relations with the United States.
"I want to emphasize once again, Russia is interested in growing relations with the United States and will do everything to ensure that this confidence is restored," Putin said as quoted by The Huffington Post on Thursday.
Putin stated in an interview with a Russian national television that 70 percent of Russian territory was located in Northern regions with extreme cold weather. Alaska also has the same cold weather and was sold to the US in 1867 for US$7.2 million. "Who needs Alaska?" he said.
Meanwhile, a petition called "Alaska Back to Russia" posted on White House's website has been taken down as until April 20, 2014, it did not reach its target of 100,000 signatures, which are a requirement to be fulfilled in 30 days in order for the petition to be discussed by the government.
The petition gained 42,000 signatures. Less than a week after it was first posted, the signatures reached 30,000. The petition initiator remains unknown.
Based on historical documents, the first expedition to Alaska was carried out by a Russian man named Mikhail Gvozdez in 1732. Alaska was Russia's colony during King Alexander II's era until 1867. It was then sold the US.
THE HUFFINGTON POST | FOX | MARIA RITA HASUGIAN