MOSCOW, January 13 - RAPSI. A U.S. court has shrugged off the Soviet nationalization of the Schneerson Library, when it ruled that the library must be returned to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev said at a news conference on Friday.
Avdeyev said earlier that Russia will not negotiate the future of the Schneerson Library until the U.S. court reverses its judgment.
The U.S. court ruled in late July to return approximately 12,000 books and 50,000 precious documents from the Schneerson collection to the Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch organization. The documents are currently owned by Russia. The U.S. court earlier established a precedent in August 2010 that forced the Russian large cultural organization to steer clear of a cultural exchange with its U.S. partners, as they have become vulnerable to third party claims. Several large museums - the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Kremlin museums and the State Hermitage Museum - had to refrain from exhibiting their collections in the United States.
"The U.S. organization decided to sue Russia in the U.S. court. Meanwhile, the U.S. court's major argument on which its stance is grounded is its flat denial of the library's nationalization," Avdeyev said.
Avdeyev also said the whole story is a provocation "aimed to spoil bilateral relations between our countries and to undermine the political reset."
"A constructive dialogue over the Schneerson Library will be possible only after the U.S. court reverses its decision and the claimant withdraws its lawsuit. And Russia will resume to exhibit its art collections only after the United States gives us absolute guarantees that our works are going to be returned," Avdeyev said.