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US lawmakers urge Biden to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine
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."