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Risch, Whitehouse Offer Legislation to Repurpose Sovereign Russian Assets for Ukraine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) offered the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs Act (REPO Act), legislation to provide additional assistance to Ukraine using assets confiscated from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and other sovereign assets of the Russian Federation, as an amendment to the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

“Public reporting indicates that more than $300 billion in Russian assets have been frozen globally. This is a far larger pot of money than the amount of funds seized and confiscated from Russian oligarchs,” said Risch. “Given the uniqueness and brutality of Russia’s blatant, illegal war in Ukraine, it is only right that these funds be seized and confiscated, and repurposed to help Ukraine win this war and rebuild its country.”

“We need to hammer home a clear message to Vladimir Putin:  continue your brutal invasion of Ukraine and reap the financial consequences,” said Whitehouse. “This measure would send that message loud and clear.”

This legislation:

  • Gives the president the authority to confiscate Russian sovereign assets that have been frozen in the United States;
  • Requires financial institutions to report any assets in their custody;
  • Creates the Ukraine Support Fund and requires any sovereign funds confiscated to be deposited for the benefit in Ukraine;
  • Gives the secretary of State authority to send confiscated funds to Ukraine; and
  • Gives the State Department Office of Sanctions Coordination additional resources to work with partners and allies abroad toward the goal of confiscation of additional Russian sovereign assets in other countries.

Text of the amendment can be found here.