US Prepares CBR Frozen Reserves for Confiscation – The Moscow Times
The US administration is exploring ways to confiscate and use Russia’s frozen international reserves to help Ukraine, State Department Secretary Anthony Blinken said on Thursday.
At the moment, lawyers are working on this issue, he said, speaking at a congressional hearing, where the day before the House of Representatives approved a bill on the seizure of property associated with the Russian Federation.
“We turned to our lawyers with a request to study this issue. In particular, what powers are needed not only for the confiscation of assets (of the Central Bank), but also for their use as you proposed in the bill,” Blinken said (quoted by Interfax).
According to the project, all assets of sanctioned persons whose well-being is at least partially based on “corruption associated with the regime of Vladimir Putin or his support” should be arrested and then sold in the United States, and then sold.
Any property worth more than $2 million, as well as assets of energy companies, are subject to confiscation.
The proceeds should be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine, humanitarian aid, assistance to the security services of the Ukrainian government, as well as support for refugees who are fleeing the war in neighboring countries or in the United States.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced an additional package of proposals to seize Russian-related property, including assets of “Putin’s kleptocracy.”
“New mechanisms will be created to carry out seizures and confiscations of this property. We are doing everything so that when selling oligarchic assets, the proceeds are directed directly to the elimination of the damage caused to Ukraine,” he said.
The United States, the European Union, Britain at the end of February announced a freeze on the assets of the central bank, which before the start of the war amounted to 630.2 billion dollars.
According to the Central Bank, at the beginning of the year, countries that joined the sanctions held 51.6% of gold reserves, or $316 billion.