Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Vladimir Putin has no interest in invading Alaska because it's too cold


First Crimea, now Alaska? Not so fast, insists Russian President Vladimir Putin. During his annual question-and-answer session shown on state TV, a caller asked if annexing Alaska was the power-craving leader's next goal. The northern state's chilly climate, however, is apparently a turn-off for Putin.

"We have a northern country — 70 percent of our territory are in the north and the far north," said Putin, per a Russian news agency. "Is Alaska really in the Southern Hemisphere? It's cold there, too. Let's not get hot-headed." The state was a Russian territory until 1867, when it was sold to the United States for $7 million.

"Who needs Alaska?" he joked. Maybe Florida is something he'd be interested in.