Russian lawmaker Sergei Mironov floats the idea of annexing Alaska from the U.S.

A Just Russia leader Sergey Mironov during the congress of its party on May 20, 2023, in Istra, outside of Moscow, Russia. He has welcomed Venezuela's push to annex part of neighboring Guyana. Getty Images

Russian politician has said that Venezuela’s threat to seize a region of Guyana signals a “new world order,” which could lead to future annexations by neighbors of U.S. territory that have faced their own historic disputes.

The comments from Sergey Mironov follow an attempted landgrab of Essequibo by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Mironov is leader of the A Just Russia faction that forms the country’s systemic opposition generally sympathetic to Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy.

Venezuela has claimed the resource-rich area of its neighbor since Spanish colonial times and has contested the border set by international arbitrators in 1899, when Guyana was a British colony. In a referendum last Sunday, Venezuelans voted overwhelmingly to annex the 61,600 square-mile Essequibo, adding to regional tensions.

Senior intelligence analyst with security firm Global Guardian, Zev Faintuch, has told Newsweek that the chance of Venezuela invading Guyana is definitely plausible, although a smaller-scale military provocation was more likely.

Meanwhile, Mironov seemed to celebrate the move by Maduro, a Putin ally, in a post on X. “Did you want a new world order? Receive it and sign for it. Venezuela has annexed a 24th state, Guyana-Essequibo,” wrote the Russian lawmaker, without mentioning Moscow’s own annexations, which include Crimea and four regions of Ukraine.

“This is happening right under the nose of the once-great hegemon of the United States. All that remains is for Mexico to return Texas,” Mironov wrote. He was referring to the history of the state controlled by Mexico until 1836, when it became independent, before joining the U.S. in 1845.

Mironov, ex-chairman of Russia’s Federation Council between 2001 and 2011, added, “It’s time for Americans to think about their future. And also about Alaska,” which was part of the Russian empire before it was purchased by the U.S. in 1867 for $7.2 million.

Moscow has never formally asserted a territorial claim to Alaska, but comments by Russian politicians about retaking the state have become more common since Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“Sergei Mironov, Russian politician, believes it’s time for Russia to claim its rights to Alaska,” wrote Ukraine’s interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko.

Russia has not backed the move by Caracas. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said it was “a priority to reduce tension and build confidence in relations between Venezuela and Guyana,” who should “refrain from any actions that could unbalance the situation.”

However, James Stavridis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, described Venezuela’s claims as “a move reminiscent of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It is a good example of the kind of knock-on effect in the global community when nations making illegal land grabs are not stopped early,” Stavridis wrote in an op-ed for Bloomberg published Saturday.

Meanwhile, Washington has said that it fully backs Guyana against Venezuela’s threat, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying the former has full sovereignty over Essequibo region, in a call with Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali.

“We’re living in an era of geopolitical chaos when every revanchist country sees now as the window of opportunity to rewrite history and redraw borders,” Faintuch said. He added that he expected a U.S. response to be “rhetoric but not much else—certainly nothing militarily.”

“If Venezuela does invade, it will be because of America’s de facto mini-rapprochement with Maduro, owing to the desire to keep down energy prices,” Faintuch added. “Should Venezuela invade, it will be because Maduro thinks he has the most leverage that he’ll have.”

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