In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward insists on Russia giving option rights that have now led to the United States purchasing Crimea 147 years later
© 2014 The World Post Times
WASHINGTON, D.C -- In a stunning turn of events for Crimea and Russia, the United States shocked the world today when it formally announced that it is purchasing Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol from Russia as the second part of the Alaskan Purchase of 1867. The United States will pay Russia the sum of $123,714.50, which is two cents per acre, to complete the purchase.
Crimea will initially become part of the State of Alaska, although the White House has hinted that President Barack Obama will propose that Crimea, with a population of about 2 million, should become the 51st state of the union.
As part of the 1867 treaty for the United States’ purchase of the Alaskan territory from Russia for $7.2 million, Russia granted the United States an option to buy any other territory later acquired by Russia for the same sales price as Alaska, at two cents per acre. Reportedly, during the treaty negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward insisted on the option right, and it was expressly agreed to by Alexander II, the Emperor of Russia, to complete the transaction. The treaty is good for 200 years and expires in 2067.
On March 18, 2014, the day after Crimea and Sevastopol seceded from the Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession with the leaders of Crimea and Sevastopol, at which time both Crimea and Sevastopol joined the Russian Federation. At that point, the United States’ option rights became effective pursuant to the 1867 treaty.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explained the United States’ purchase of Crimea and Sevastopol was not by accident: “Technically, we knew we could not purchase Crimea until Russia formally annexed Crimea. So we waited. Once Russia completed the annexation, we were free to exercise our option to buy the territories for the two cents per acre price established in the 1867 treaty.”
President Putin seemed noticeable upset about the United States’ purchase but appeared willing to accept the loss of Crimea and Sevastopol: “Our lawyers studied every word of that treaty and it seems the Americans have us dead to rights on this one. We didn’t see this coming at all. Those old treaties can come back to haunt you sometimes. We could have gotten a lot more money selling Crimea on EBay, that’s for sure.”