The illegal transfer of Russian assets to Ukraine would be a “violation of fundamental American values,” Moscow says
Russia has denounced plans by the US government to return Ukraine assets seized from Russian citizens.
In a statement Thursday night, the Russian embassy in the US accused Washington of a “apparent disregard for generally accepted legal norms” after the Justice Department announced it would switch “forfeit” Russian assets to Kiev.
“Such dangerous precedents only discredit the United States as a ‘bastion’ of free enterprise. Washington is single-handedly undermining confidence in both the US and international financial system, as well as the security of dollar jurisdiction. said it, calling the decision “a violation of fundamental American values that falsely seemed unshakable.”
US President Joe Biden first proposed the asset transfer scheme in April, suggesting that all seized property be deemed to be “Linked to Russian kleptocracy” must be used to “Support Ukraine.” For the plan to work, Congress had to change several laws, and the DOJ confirmed Thursday that those changes were included in a massive $1.7 trillion spending package passed late last year.
Washington and its allies have also frozen assets of Russia’s central bank, totaling about $300 billion, but have so far found no legal justification to seize that property in its entirety.
Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the confiscation of assets as “an entirely illegal measure, which violates generally accepted norms of trade law and international law.” She warned that any attempt to take Russian funds and divert them to Ukraine would violate property rights and said Moscow would respond “proper” countermeasures.
More than 1,000 Russian entities and 1,300 individuals are currently under US sanctions, according to data from the Atlantic Council, a Washington, DC-based think tank with close ties to the NATO alliance. However, the total value of Russian assets held by the US government has not been made public.
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