The problems, risks and obstacles with confiscating Russian assets

By Binoy Kampmark

July 20, 2022

Andrew C. Adams, Director, Task Force KleptoCapture, United States Department of Justice appears before a Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing to examine KleptoCapture, focusing on aiding Ukraine through forfeiture of Russian oligarchs’ illicit assets. (Rod Lamkey/CNP/Sipa USA)

In the zeal of targeting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine, an enthusiastic wave of support for confiscating assets has gathered momentum. Such moralistic fervour has essentially endorsed what, on the surface, looks highly problematic to the international order.

So far, billions of dollars in Russian assets have been frozen. Foreign exchange reserves amounting to US$300 billion, with US$38 billion in the US — have received that treatment, along with assets owned by Russian government agencies, state-owned enterprises, private entities and individuals. Italy impounded the Scheherazade, a US$700 million superyacht allegedly linked to “prominent elements of the Russian government,” according to the country’s economic ministry. The EU has gathered art, boats and property to the value of US$7 billion. The Biden administration even went so far as to create KleptoCapture, a task force dedicated to track the assets of blacklisted Russian oligarchs.

The US House of Representatives’ Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act (ASURA), passed in April, goes one step further in using sanctioned Russian assets for Ukraine’s purposes. A press release from New Jersey Democrat Congressman Tom Malinowski explains what these purposes are: “Any funds gained from asset sales would then be used to benefit the Ukrainian people, through the provision of military and humanitarian assistance, post-conflict reconstruction, and technology to ensure the free flow of information in Ukraine.”

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, mel ei nihil nostrum. Eruditi intellegebat te quo, cu nec veniam laudem deleniti. Usu ne adhuc semper delicata, latine legimus id vis. In ipsum feugait consetetur vim. Id saepe consul tractatos vel, at esse propriae mel, choro noster oportere vel in.

Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



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