US attorney general says money from Russian oligarchs' seized assets should go 'directly to Ukraine'

·1 min read
US attorney general says money from Russian oligarchs' seized assets should go 'directly to Ukraine'
Garland at DOJ
Attorney General Merrick Garland.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • US Attorney General said he supports the idea of some proceeds from oligarch seizures going to Ukraine.

  • Merrick Garland said he expects requests for legislative changes to make it easier to seize assets.

  • Garland told the committee the administration is likely to present a request within days.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress on Tuesday that he's in favor of some of the proceeds from Russian oligarch seizures going straight to Ukraine.

Garland had been explaining to the Senate Appropriations Committee how the US Justice Department deals with proceeds from Russian assets that have been recovered.

"The money would go into the asset forfeiture fund. So, first thing we have to do is freeze the assets," Garland told the committee. "We would support legislation that would allow some of that money to go directly to Ukraine."

The Justice Department's new task force, called "Operation KleptoCapture," was set up in early March to help detain the private jets, superyachts, and real estate of sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

Garland also told the committee that he expected there would be requests for legislative changes to make it easier to seize sanctioned Russians' assets and taking money out of the asset forfeiture fund to send to Ukraine.

"I expect very soon, within days probably, that the administration will be able to present some request," Garland said.

In early April, the US seized its first superyacht that had ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg in Spain. The vessel is valued at $90 million, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Garland's comments follow President Joe Biden's announcement on Thursday that the US would send $800 million worth of aid to Ukraine.

Read the original article on Business Insider