At a meeting on Thursday, December 22, the US Senate voted for an amendment to the law on financing the US government to confiscate the assets of Russian oligarchs and transfer them to Ukraine.
The amendment was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democrat Michael Bennett and Republican Lindsey Graham, in early October. informs CNN, quoting the latter:
“This amendment will allow the Department of Justice, through the Secretary of State, to transfer funds received from the seized assets of oligarchs or other entities subject to sanctions to the people of Ukraine. This will be a real boon for the long-suffering people of Ukraine and will ease the burden of American taxpayers.”
In the draft, the senators proposed to give the American president emergency powers and introduce new procedures to confiscate assets acquired by criminal means and send them to help Ukraine for a period of three years, that is, until 2025. Judicial guarantees of respect for property rights are also provided, in order to avoid accusations of arbitrariness: notification of the owner of the property and the possibility of judicial review of the decision, including appeal.
As C-SPAN journalist Craig Kaplan wrote on the social network, the Senate unanimously approved the amendment, allowing to confiscate and sell the assets of Russian oligarchs for their transfer to Ukraine, as humanitarian and military aid.
United States Senate passed the bill Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations of $1.7 trillion. This was announced on Thursday by the Senate Committee on Budgetary Appropriations. Of this amount, $44.9 billion will be used to provide emergency assistance to Ukraine and US NATO allies. The bill was supported by 68 legislators, 29 voted against. The document must be approved in the House of Representatives of the US Congress, and then it will go to US President Joe Biden for signing. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said:
“This is one of the most significant commitments we have made in a very long time.”
The AP stressed that lawmakers sought to vote before the federal government’s partial shutdown due to a lack of budget funds at midnight Dec. 23. In addition, some lawmakers are rushing to get the document through the US Congress before the Republican Party, which has a majority in the House of Representatives, can complicate its passage next year.
Until today, only Canada (among allies of Ukraine) has adopted the mechanism of confiscation of assets of the Russian Federation in favor of Ukraine. In June, they adopted amendments to the Special Economic Measures Act and created the possibility of confiscating and using Russian assets to help Ukraine.