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White House supported confiscation of Russian assets for transfer to Ukraine

White House supported confiscation of Russian assets for transfer to Ukraine U.S. Congress will consider a bill on the confiscation of Russian assets (photo: Getty Images)

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has endorsed legislation that would allow the confiscation of around $300 billion from frozen Russian assets and redirect these funds towards the reconstruction of Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.

In the National Security Council (NSC) memorandum of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, it is mentioned that the proposed legislation would grant the executive branch the authority necessary for the confiscation of Russian sovereign assets for the benefit of Ukraine.

It is noted that the White House aims to coordinate this move with allies from the Group of Seven (G7), particularly in Europe, where approximately $200 billion of frozen Russian assets are held.

"Alongside our G-7 partners, we are exploring all options consistent with our respective legal systems and international law to aid Ukraine in obtaining compensation from Russia," stated the U.S. State Department.

The Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, is authored by Congressmen Jim Risch and Sheldon Whitehouse.

"There is broad bipartisan agreement on this in the Senate. After a year of negotiations, it's past time for the committee to consider this legislation," said Risch.

It is claimed that Democrats and Republicans in the committee differ on two key parts of the legislation. The proposed law requires Biden to coordinate with the G-7 to freeze assets but does not require their approval, potentially allowing the U.S. to take unilateral action.

It also includes language aimed at preventing Russia from challenging the confiscation in U.S. courts, which could be potentially vulnerable to constitutional challenges.

According to reports, the White House initially had mixed feelings about the G-7 requirement, but later emphasized the need to act in concert with allies.

"Such a requirement "would make it more likely that Europe (where the vast majority of assets are located) will be willing to take this step, given their concerns that taking this action in the Russia context could increase the likelihood that we size assets in other cases where the legal and policy justification is less strong," one of the NSC reports said.

Transfer of Russian assets to Ukraine

After the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, Western countries froze the assets of the occupiers.

It was previously reported that the United States proposed to the Group of Seven countries to confiscate $300 billion of frozen Russian assets for the benefit of Ukraine. They aim to finalize this plan before the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal announced on January 3 that our partners are getting closer to resolving this issue.

"There are already first precedents in changes to legislation that provide mechanisms for transferring funds. It is important to consolidate this into a clear system that will involve EU and G7 countries," he said.