In addition to a request for $33 billion to provide Ukraine with extra security, humanitarian, and economic aid, the White House announced a new proposal to go after sanctioned Russian assets across the world.
Seizing Russian Assets And Funding Ukraine
The White House’s latest proposal against the Russian economy and pro-Putin oligarchs is composed of the following six measures:
-Establishing a Streamlined Administrative Authority to Seize and Forfeit Oligarch Assets;
-Enabling the Transfer of the Proceeds of Forfeited Kleptocrat Property to Ukraine to Remediate Harms of Russian Aggression;
-Clamping Down on Facilitation of Sanctions Evasion;
-Modernizing Racketeering to Include Sanctions Evasion;
-Expanding the Time Limit to Follow the Money;
-Leveraging Foreign Partners’ Ability to Freeze and Seize Oligarch Wealth.
The different proposals would allow the U.S. to work with international partners to recover assets linked to foreign corruption, strengthen its ability to investigate and prosecute sanctions evasion, create a new criminal offense to target people who knowingly possess corrupt Russian money, streamline the seizure of assets belonging to Russian oligarchs.
“This package of proposals will establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools,” the White House said in a press release.
One of the proposals would give Ukraine funds seized from sanctioned Russian assets.
“Under the proposal, the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and State will work together to use forfeited funds related to corruption, sanctions and export control violations, and other specified offenses to remediate harms of Russian aggression toward Ukraine,” the White house said.
“Today, in concert with his supplemental request to Congress to support Ukraine, President Biden will send a proposal for a comprehensive legislative package that will enhance the United States Government’s authority to hold the Russian government and Russian oligarchs accountable for President Putin’s war against Ukraine. The proposals were crafted in close consultation with interagency partners, including the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce. The Biden Administration looks forward to working closely with Members of Congress as a whole to implement this package of proposals,” the White House added.
An International Effort
In addition to taking unilateral actions against Moscow and the Russian oligarchs, the U.S. has been working with allies and partners across the world to ensure that the sanctions in effect aren’t violated, bypassed, or evaded.
In March, the U.S. Department of Justice and Treasury Department launched a task force (the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Task Force) to go after the Russian oligarchs and their partners, and last week, the Treasury Department designated a global sanctions evasion network set up by one of Moscow’s closest henchmen.
The European Union alone has frozen over $30 billion in assets, including $7 billion in luxury vessels, aircraft, real estate, and art.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.