US attorney general approves first-ever transfer of seized Russian assets for use in Ukraine

US attorney general approves first-ever transfer of seized Russian assets for use in Ukraine

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized the first-ever transfer of forfeited funds of Russian oligarchs for the rebuilding of Ukraine.

According to Ukrinform, he said this in Washington on Friday, February 3, at a meeting with Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin.

Garland recalled that the U.S. Congress had given "the Justice Department new authority to transfer certain assets we have seized from Russian oligarchs for the rebuilding of Ukraine."

"Today I am announcing that I have authorized the first-ever transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine," he said, adding that the assets were seized after the announcement he made last April of the indictment of designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev on charges of sanctions evasions. Garland said that at that time, he also announced the seizure of millions of dollars from an account of an U.S. financial institution traced to Malofeyev's sanctions evasions.

He recalled that the day before, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York decided to seize these funds in favor of the United States.

"With my authorization today, the forfeited funds will next be transferred to the State Department to support the people of Ukraine," Garland said.

According to him, the Justice Department will continue to hold accountable Russian oligarchs and other individuals whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine.

"We will continue to work closely with our international partners in support of investigation and prosecution of the atrocities that have occurred during this war," he added.

On February 2, a U.S. court decided to confiscate $5.4 million from sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, paving the way for the funds to be used to rebuild Ukraine.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch

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