The US Department of Justice hopes that the steps taken by Congress will allow the transfer of assets confiscated from Russian entrepreneurs to Ukraine, said the Deputy head of the US Department of Justice, Lisa Monaco.
“We are striving to get to these assets, regardless of whether they were presented in the form of luxury yachts, bank accounts, other goods, aircraft or whatever. Nothing is excluded. If we can trace that they are associated with illegal activities, sanctions evasion, then, from our point of view, (their seizure) is on the agenda, — said Monaco.
The deputy head of the US Department of Justice clarified that the next steps after tracking down “illegal” Russian assets will be their confiscation and sale. “And then there is the question of seizing and selling them. We hope that the actions of Congress will allow us to provide these proceeds to people who need them <…> and this is the people of Ukraine»,— added Monaco.
On the eve of June 29, the US Treasury reported on the blocking of assets of the Russian Central Bank for about $ 300 billion, as well as other assets related to Russia in the amount of more than $ 30 billion. The Working Group on Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs (REPO), which includes representatives of various Western countries.
In April, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said that Ukraine was negotiating with the United States and other Western partners on the possible use of frozen Russian assets to restore the country. At the same time, the United States noted that it is illegal to confiscate blocked assets, in particular those belonging to the Central Bank of Russia. “I think it's only natural, given the massive destruction in Ukraine and the huge rebuilding costs they're going to have to face, that we'd look to Russia to help pay at least some of the cost,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that no one officially notified Russia of such plans, but “such a decision would be illegal, blatant.” and demanded a response from Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov previously accused Western countries of actually stealing assets, and the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, promised that the Russian side would challenge the freezing of reserves.
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