Judge: Russia Defaults on Jewish Document Lawsuit

A U.S. judge has issued a default order against Russia in a lawsuit seeking to force the country to hand over historic Jewish documents.

Judge Royce Lamberth issued the order after Russia refused to participate in the case.

The lawsuit was brought by members of Chabad-Lubavitch, which follows the teachings of Eastern European rabbis. The group is suing Russia in U.S. court to recover thousands of manuscripts and other work by leading rabbis dating back to the 18th century.

Russia has said it will not participate in the case to protect its sovereignty.

It was not immediately clear what actions the court might take to try to force Russia to comply. Chabad urged Russia to voluntarily send the documents to the United States.