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Moscow grateful to Washington for returning historical documents to Russia — ministry

March 04, 13:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Diplomats of the US Embassy in Moscow on Thursday handed over to Russia’s representatives 28 historical documents stolen from the Russian archives in the 1980s-2000s
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US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft at a ceremony of repatriating to Russia unique historical documents

US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft at a ceremony of repatriating to Russia unique historical documents

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry is grateful to the United States for assistance in finding and repatriating to Russia 28 unique historical documents that were illegally taken to US in 1990s.

"We are grateful to the US side for assistance in finding and repatriating to Russia 28 unique historical documents stolen from the archives of our country in 1990s and illegally taken to US," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. "Among the documents returned on March 3 are original decrees of eight Russian emperors and other relics," the ministry added.

"We note that positive result was reached thanks to long-term joint work of relevant departments and law enforcement agencies of the two countries," the foreign ministry went on. "We want to hope that this experience of pragmatic, non-politicized cooperation will be in used in many other spheres of Russian-US relations that have experienced negative effects of US administration’s sanctions policy in the last two years," the ministry added.

Diplomats of the US Embassy in Moscow on Thursday handed over to Russia’s representatives 28 historical documents stolen from the Russian archives in the 1980s-2000s. Taking part in a ceremony at Spaso House, the residence of the US ambassador in Moscow, were Ambassador John Tefft, officials of the US National Security Agency, the Russian Ministry of Culture, historians and archival experts.

Among the returned documents are imperial decrees dating back to 1703-1894, including those issued by Empresses Anna and Elizabeth, Emperor Paul I and imperial decrees to the Chapter of Imperial Orders from 1797 to 1917. The American side also passed over to Russia 17 drawings from the private collection of Soviet painter, architect and theoretician of the first half of the 20th century Yakov Chernikhov. The documents also include Order No.23 issued by Soviet People’s Defense Commissar Joseph Stalin on March 14, 1944, "On Transforming the 1st Aviation Regiment of the Civil Air Fleet into the 120th Guards Aviation Regiment of the Civil Air Fleet."

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