Command Russian President Vladimir PutinBy allocating a budget to search for properties owned by the Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union around the world, including Jerusalem, with the aim of returning their ownership to Russia.
The Hebrew newspaper “Wala” said today, Tuesday, January 23, 2024, that Putin signed two decisions; The first concerns the search for properties of the Russian Empire andsoviet union Abroad, while the second orders the allocation of a budget to a state-owned entity that is responsible for the management of this property.
According to the Hebrew newspaper, the Russian side is mainly interested in properties of a cultural nature, noting at the same time the difficulty of ignoring real estate.
This is not the first time that Russia has tried to recover ancient property from various parts of the world, as it was able in the past to transfer the ownership of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, France – which was built in honor of Emperor Alexander II – to Russia.
After the collapse of the Russian Empire, the cathedral became owned by several individuals, but its ownership was returned to the Russian state in 2021 by court ruling.
Since 2000, about 4,000 different pieces of real estate of varying value around the world have been transferred to Russian ownership, including in Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
For about 20 years, Moscow has been holding talks and negotiations with Israeli governments regarding the places that Russia bought during the 19th century, and which the Russians are trying to restore.
In 1964, during the rule of former Soviet Union President Nikita Khrushchev, the so-called “Orange Deal” was implemented, through which most of the Russian real estate in Palestine was sold to Israel for $4.5 million.
However, ownership of the Russian Religious Mission building, the Troitsky Cathedral, and the Sergievsky Complex remained in the possession of the Russian state.
Among the places that Russia could demand from Israel is the ownership of Elizabeta Square (Russian Court) in JerusalemAnd the Alexander Nevsky Church and the Christian Quarter in the Old City. Moscow is also demanding that the route of the light train be changed so that it is away from the Russian Church in Ein Karem.
In January 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Israel to attend a Holocaust Forum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the genocide camp in Auschwitz, Poland.
At that time, Putin met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where the issue of Russian assets in Israel was on the meeting’s agenda.
In 2020, Israel for the first time allowed the Russian Federation to register its ownership of the Alexander Court adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a property disputed between Russian church factions, and Israel has refused for years to intervene in the dispute.
Historically, the Russian religious mission to Jerusalem had the right to own lands or build according to the orders of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I in 1847.
Since then, the Russian Empire has included a number of properties from the Palestinian territories, which were part of the Ottoman Empire, as the total area of Russian state property in occupied Palestine by the beginning of the 20th century was estimated at about 23 hectares.
The Russian Empire extended to modern Poland and the Baltic countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in addition to Finland, but it disintegrated following World War I (1914-1918) and the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 led by Vladimir Lenin, which marked the birth of the communist state.
In 1922, the Soviet Union was founded and continued until it collapsed in 1991 with the independence of the established republics in the Baltic states, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia.
Source : Al Jazeera + Israeli press + Websites