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Russian colonization of the Americas

After the discovery of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska in 1741 during the Russian exploration conducted by Vitus Bering and Aleksiei Chirikov[?], it took over forty years until the founding of the first Russian colony in Alaska in 1784 by Gregory Shelekov[?] of The Russian-American Company[?] who was hunting sea otters for their fur.

Subsequently, Russian explorers and settlers continued to establish trading posts in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and as far south as Fort Ross[?] in northern California.

The colony was never very profitable, because of the costs of transportation. At the instigation of Secretary of State William Seward, the United States Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 on April 9, 1867.

Since start of Perestroika in Russia there was speculation in the Russian mass media that Alaska was not in fact sold, but was instead leased to the USA for 99 or 150 years and has to be returned to Russia.

See History of Russia and European colonization of the Americas.

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