Senators Seek to Repurpose Seized Russian Assets for Ukraine Aid (Dreamstime.com)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Monday, 28 March 2022 09:19 PM
Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, are introducing a bill that would repurpose seized Russian assets in exchange for a relief fund directed toward Ukrainian refugees and the reconstruction of Ukraine, Axios reported.
"Right now, Ukraine is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since War World II — they need our help," Portman, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said.
The bill, dubbed the RELIEF for Ukraine Act, or the Repurposing Elite Luxuries into Emergency Funds, would direct money from the liquidation of assets seized by the Department of Justice's new KleptoCapture task force into a Ukrainian relief package.
"One way to help is to move from freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs and wealthy citizens to seizing their assets, and providing that funding to people of Ukraine to help with ongoing humanitarian efforts," Portman adds.
The State Department would administer the funds in consultation with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
"Our bill makes [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russian oligarchs pay the price by ensuring that funds from their seized assets go directly to the Ukrainian people to support them through many difficult years ahead of resettlement, reconstruction and recovery," Bennet said.