US plunders Russian businessman assets, plans to use them in Ukraine
The US took millions of dollars from a Russian businessman's US bank account in June as a result of sanctions placed on the Russian businessman in April.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that the US has approved for the State Department to use the assets of Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev seized in Ukraine.
The US took millions of dollars from Malofeyev's US bank account in June as a result of sanctions placed on the Russian businessman in April.
According to Garland, the US State Department will confiscate a total of $5.4 million to "help the people of Ukraine."
Read more: Freeze of Russian assets one of biggest thefts - Russian official
This sort of issue had been discussed numerous times in the West, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying the West using frozen Russian assets to help with Ukraine's reconstruction was a complex legal issue.
"It is a very difficult legal question. And so a lot of work has to be done All of us will have to go through these questions; what is feasible, what is not feasible if you are sticking to the rule of law?" Scholz said, highlighting that Brussels was working on trying to understand the issue at hand.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on the other hand, said Brussels was already working on the issue and had already created a special group that was mulling the possibility of using Russian assets to provide assistance to Ukraine.
"We have created a task force with experts from Member States and international experts, which is called 'Seize and Freeze Task Force,'" she said.
According to the EU president, the task force in question will be tasked with mapping "what is out there has been frozen" and the "legal preconditions that have to be given to enable seizing and using" the assets in question.
Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov deemed in June the freezing of Russian assets to be one of the "greatest thefts in history."
The West and its allies rolled out comprehensive sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war, which included freezing Moscow's foreign currency reserves and halting international payments from Russian banks.