MOSCOW, January 23 - RAPSI. Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, proposed initiating proceedings against select members of America's Chassidic Jewish community who allegedly failed to return some books that were borrowed from the Yitzchok Schneerson collection.
"It was Russia's goodwill to lend these books to these Chassids for a few months. This was ten years ago. The books have not been returned yet. It is probably time to take this issue to court," Lavrov said at Wednesday's news conference on 2012 foreign political results.
The forieng minister said the US court decision on the Schneerson collection was "outrageous" and unjust.
On January 16, a US District of Columbia Court ordered Russia to pay $50,000 per day in fines until it returned the collection of books and manuscripts collected by Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson. The collection is currently owned by Russia's Library Fund and known as the Schneerson library. Russia's Foreign Ministry earlier described this ruling as unlawful and provocative and threatened to "retaliate" against the US.
Schneerson was forced to leave the Soviet Union in 1927. He took his collection with him to Latvia and then to Poland where he left it after Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany. The books were taken to Germany and later confiscated by the Red Army. Yitzchok Schneersohn died in 1950 without leaving any instructions regarding his book collection.