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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Usmanov to Buy Soviet-Era Cartoons

Billionaire Alisher Usmanov plans to buy back Soviet-era cartoons acquired by a U.S. company in the 1990s as part of President Vladimir Putin's drive to establish a children's television channel, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Usmanov is in talks to acquire 547 classic cartoons from U.S. company Films by Jove, the newspaper said, citing Joan Borsten, one of the U.S. company's owners.

Borsten said lawyers were finalizing the transaction, while Usmanov said talks were suspended because the U.S. owners were seeking an "astronomical and totally unreal sum," the newspaper said. An official close to Usmanov said the U.S. side was asking for $10 million for the collection.

The return of the Soviet cartoons is part of Russian business's new "social responsibility," after Viktor Vekselberg bought back the tsar's Faberge Eggs in 2004, which were sold by the Soviet government to raise cash, Vedomosti cited analyst Alexey Makarkin as saying.