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Putin signs decree authorizing confiscation of US companies, individuals in retaliatory measure

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 23, 2024 6:25 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting on tourism development in Russia via a video link from Saint Petersburg on May 2, 2023. (Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on May 23 authorizing the confiscation of assets of U.S. citizens and companies to compensate for Russian assets confiscated by the U.S.

The U.S. Congress recently approved the REPO Act that would allow President Joe Biden's administration to seize Russian assets held at American banks and funnel them to Ukraine.

Western countries and Kyiv's other partners have immobilized around $300 billion of Russian assets in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with around $5 billion held in the U.S.

The decree would enable Russian citizens, companies, and the central bank to appeal to courts that the seizure of their assets is unjustified. In turn, the Russian government could offer U.S. assets in Russia as compensation.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, previously threatened retaliatory measures if the U.S. seized Russian assets.  

In March, the European Commission submitted a proposal on using 90% of the generated funds to purchase weapons for Ukraine and allocate the remaining 10% to the EU budget to support the country's defense industry.

After many weeks of debates, EU ambassadors reached a political agreement on the proposal on May 8.

The EU Council finalized the agreement on May 21, which would provide Ukraine with between 2.5 billion and 3 billion euros ($2.7-3.26 billion) annually, with most of it allocated to Kyiv's military needs.

The European Commission then announced later in the day that the "resources will be available to support Ukraine starting from July 2024, with bi-annual payments."

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