Disputed Jewish texts to stay in Russia, Putin says

A Washington judge in January ordered Russia to pay $50,000 a day in fines for failure to adhere to a 2010 ruling to return collection.

By REUTERS
February 19, 2013 20:57
2 minute read.
Vladimir Putin addresses supporters

Vladimir Putin addresses supporters 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Pool)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

MOSCOW - A disputed collection of Jewish writings will remain in Russia because returning it to a New York-based group would set a precedent paving the way for more such claims dating back to Soviet times, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Dispute over the Jewish books and documents claimed by the Chabad-Lubavitch group adds to tensions between Moscow and Washington, which have seen ties deteriorate over human rights and security issues since Putin's return to the Kremlin in May.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"The Schneerson Collection belongs to Russia," Putin said in a grand new Jewish museum in Moscow, in referring to texts held in Russian libraries and archives, some of them confiscated by the Soviet Union from Nazi forces during World War Two.

A Washington judge in January ordered Russia to pay $50,000 a day in fines for failure to adhere to a 2010 ruling to return the collection, triggering angry reaction from Moscow, which called the decision "absolutely unlawful and provocative".

"If we now open a Pandora's box and start satisfying similar requests, there will be no end to these claims. Maybe one day we will be able to do this, but now we are absolutely not ready for this. This is impossible," Putin said.

Moscow bristles at what it sees as attempts to lecture it from abroad, especially by its Cold War-era foe Washington, and Russians are proud of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

The collection of Jewish texts has been the subject of a legal and diplomatic tug-of-war since before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Putin, a former KGB spy, said the texts could be put on display at the Jewish museum "as a gesture towards those people who really want to solve this problem and not use it as reason for emotions and confrontation".

Late last year Hungarian Jews asked Russia to return scrolls and valuable religious items looted by Nazis and later by the Red Army in World War Two. At that time, Moscow did not comment on the claim backed by the Hungarian government.

Washington and Moscow recently have scrapped bilateral deals after Moscow was enraged by the U.S. Magnitsky Act, named for an anti-graft lawyer who died in a Russian prison, banning visas of Russians deemed rights violators.

Moscow retaliated with its own blacklist of U.S. officials. It also banned Americans from adopting Russian orphans and outlawed U.S.-funded NGOs that it said meddled in political activities.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF