Putin: Archive could go to Jewish museum instead of back to Brooklyn

MOSCOW— Russian President Vladimir Putin is suggesting that a vast collection of Jewish books and documents that is the focus of a dispute between Moscow and Washington be given a permanent home in the Russian capital's new Jewish Museum rather than back to its rightful owners in Brooklyn.

A U.S. judge in January ordered that Russia be fined $50,000 a day until it turns over the so-called Schneerson Collection to Chabad Lubavitch, a Hasidic movement within Orthodox Judaism headquartered in Crown Heights.

Russia claims the collection is state property. Putin on Tuesday criticized the ruling, saying "discussion of this problem has taken on elements of confrontation," Russian news agencies reported. The collection is now held at the state library and military archives.

Putin said he would consider ordering the collection be placed at the Jewish museum, which opened last year.