A Jewish group is urging a US judge to impose civil fines on Russia for failing to return the group's historic books and documents.
The Justice Department said at Wednesday's hearing that such fines would actually hurt the effort and urged the judge to refrain from ordering them.
US District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth has already ruled the records are unlawfully possessed by the Russian State Library and the Russian military archive.
In 2010, he ordered the Russian government to turn them over to the US embassy in Moscow or to the Jewish group's representative.
Russia, which has completely halted the loan of its art treasures for exhibit in the United States for fear that they will be seized and held hostage in the court battle.