The United States will transfer $5,4 million of confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine
The Kremlin slammed the US this week after it announced plans to transfer millions of dollars in confiscated assets from Russian oligarchs to Ukrainian military veterans. Writes about this Business Insider.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced this initiative during his visit to Kyiv on September 6. He said the United States would transfer $5,4 million in assets that once belonged to powerful Russian oligarchs to Ukraine.
“Those who supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive war must pay for it,” Blinken said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.
Russia reacted to this statement with indignation and threats. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov believes that such a transfer would be illegal.
“We consider all cases related to the blocking, arrest or other retention of any funds related to state, private or mixed property of the Russian Federation abroad as illegal actions,” Peskov said.
Putin’s “mouthpiece” promised that he would conduct legal proceedings on this issue, and “not a single case of such illegal detention will go unnoticed.”
The US State Department has not provided specific details about whose assets will be transferred to Ukraine, but the $5,4 million figure is the exact amount that a US judge ordered seized from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev earlier this year.
Malofeev, the founder of the pro-Putin Tsargrad TV channel, was first sanctioned by the US in 2014 over accusations that he was “threatening Ukraine” and providing financial assistance to a Moscow-backed separatist group in Crimea, which he denied.
US authorities also accused Malofeev of illegally conspiring with former Fox News channel director Jack Hanick to transfer investments from a Texas bank in the amount of $10 million to the account of his partner in Greece. Hanik was arrested in London in February 2022 and later charged with violating US sanctions.
In April 2022, the Justice Department indicted Malofeev on sanctions evasion charges, the first since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and in February 2023, a US judge ruled that US prosecutors could confiscate $5,4 million belonging to Malofeev as a first step. to transfer these funds to Ukraine.
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Following the invasion, the US Justice Department unleashed a barrage of sanctions on Russian oligarchs, with some financial experts initially suggesting that Washington's efforts were symbolic.
Since the start of the war, the United States and other Western allies have frozen the assets of Russian oligarchs amounting to at least $58 billion.
The announcement that millions of dollars will be sent to Ukrainian military veterans comes as Blinken pledged $665,5 million in new military and civilian aid to Ukraine this week.
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