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    DoD Secretary Supports Fort Ross Cemetery Upkeep Initiative - Russian Envoy

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    SAN FRANCISCO (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that US Defense Secretary James Mattis supports his project to upkeep the Fort Ross Orthodox Cemetery in California.

    “After [Governor Of California Jerry Brown] supported me, I addressed to General Mattis. I was very glad that General Mattis supported me,” Antonov told reporters on Saturday.

    The ambassador added that Moscow, and particularly Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, also support the initiative.

    Antonov spoke after the unveiling and blessing of a memorial cross at the cemetery.

    The ceremony was attended by the Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, the California governor, representatives of the Kashaya Pomo Tribe, Alaska Natives as well as by compatriots.

    READ MORE: Fort Ross Official Says Historic Russian Site in California to Remain Open

    Fort Ross is a former Russian settlement founded in 1812, and now a Californian state park included in the list of National Historic Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery with 131 identified grave sites is located next to the settlement.

    The cemetery was also registered as a military burial site after the representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry in the United States discovered in 2016 in the military archives that several sailors of the Russian Imperial Navy had been buried there.

    READ MORE: Russian Envoy: Historic Endeavours Offer Key to Today's US-Russian Challenges


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