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US lawmakers urge Biden to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 24, 2023 8:59 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

U.S. lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden urging him to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, according to a May 23 press release from Congressman Adam Schiff's office.

The signatories of the letter wrote that past precedents, such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and former U.S. President George W. Bush transferring $1.7 billion in Iraqi government funds to U.S. victims of terrorism paved the way for the U.S. to "repurpose Russian central bank assets frozen pursuant to U.S. sanctions to deliver much-needed assistance to Ukraine."

Each dollar would "make a critical difference" in Ukraine's war effort, given that the country's current budget requirements are estimated at $5 billion each month.

Ukraine's post-war reconstruction efforts will take over 10 years and cost upwards of $411 billion, the press release added.

The Kyiv School of Economics reported in late March that Russia's war against Ukraine had caused over $138 billion in damages across the country, including an estimated $36.2 billion in damages to infrastructure.

Other countries are already navigating the intricate legal procedures necessary to transfer Russian assets frozen after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

A press release from the Council of the European Union in mid-April reported that "intensive efforts are being made to enable frozen Russian assets to be used in the reconstruction of Ukraine."

Ukraine war latest: Kyiv denies EU diplomacy chief’s claim that Ukrainian pilots began F-16 training
Key developments on May 23: * Air Force prepares for Ukrainian pilots training on F-16s * Russia cancels so-called ‘counter-terrorist operation’ in its Belgorod Oblast * Ukraine receives $1.6 billion in macro-financial assistance from EU * Zelensky marks Marines Day at front line * Germany pro…
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