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Putin decrees seizure of U.S. assets if Russian funds are touched

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press/Photo by Alexander Kazakov

Putin decrees seizure of U.S. assets if Russian funds are touched

Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Thursday authorized Moscow authorities to commandeer the assets of U.S. individuals and companies if frozen Russian funds are confiscated in the United States. Over $200 billion in Central Bank of Russia assets have been frozen by the United States and the European Union since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Russia will consider a seizure of funds by anyone, including the European Union, as a violation of international law, said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. She added that Moscow has an arsenal of political and economic retaliatory measures should it need to defend its national interests.

Why is Russia so concerned about its assets being taken? Ukrainian allies have long pushed to reallocate the frozen Russian assets as aid to Ukraine. Interest accrued from frozen Russian assets will be allocated to Ukraine for military defense and reconstruction, the Council of the European Union said two days before Putin’s decree. Mobilizing frozen Russian funding for use by Ukraine will be a main topic of discussion as leading industrialized nations meet this week, said U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday. U.S. President Joe Biden also enacted legislation legalizing a seizure of Russian assets in the United States for Ukraine last month.

Dig deeper: Read Josh Schumacher’s report on U.S. claims of Russia launching a counter-space weapon earlier this week.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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