U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will support a new bipartisan bill, Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act to enable the seizure and sale of Russian oligarchs’ assets.
Proceeds from the sale of oligarchs’ assets will be used to support post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine, humanitarian assistance, military assistance for the armed forces of Ukraine, supporting refugees and their resettlement, or technology and services to ensure the free flow of information to the Ukrainian people.
“Dictators like Putin care only about themselves and their cronies,” said Senator Graham. “It is long past time for all the Russian oligarchs – Putin’s partners in crime – to lose their yachts, luxury apartments, and their assets and pay a price for being part of a thuggish group – a nation-state that really is a mafia-state. I want to see the Department of Justice, Treasury, and law enforcement partners go in and take apartments, fine art, and seize yachts from a bunch of thugs and crooks. I want to put money on the table to have more weapons for Ukraine to fight. This is a good beginning on the long journey to push back against Putin and his misadventures.
With the Ukrainian people fighting bravely against Vladimir Putin and his corrupt regime, the senators’ new Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act would draw on the value of sanctioned Russian oligarch property to fund humanitarian aid.
The legislation would enable the president to declare an emergency upon finding that Russia is engaged in hostilities against Ukraine, unlocking the federal government’s authority to confiscate funds or property worth over $2 million from sanctioned Russians or foreigners linked to the Russian government. The funds derived from seizure and sale of oligarch assets would go toward post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine, humanitarian assistance, military assistance for the armed forces of Ukraine, supporting refugees and their resettlement, or technology and services to ensure the free flow of information to the Ukrainian people.
The bill would also authorize cash rewards administered by the Treasury Department for people who provide information leading to the confiscation of assets, or to any nonprofit humanitarian organization that identifies ill-gotten assets for seizure.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and also backed by Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi). This bill is the updated Senate version of a bipartisan House bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.