May 11 2023

Graham: First Transfer of Seized Russian Oligarch Assets Good News for American Taxpayer, Ukrainian People

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, today made this statement after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland approved the first transfer of seized Russian assets to be used to support the Ukrainian people.

“I’m very pleased to hear Attorney General Garland approved the transfer of Russian oligarch assets seized under U.S. sanctions to support Ukraine.

“This is good news for the American taxpayer and the Ukrainian people, and bad news for Putin’s cronies.

“Well done.”

Last year, Senators Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) successfully included an amendment in the government funding bill that allowed for the transfer of seized Russian assets. The amendment was designed to make Putin and his cronies pay for the infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and homes his military has destroyed – without any cost to the American taxpayer. The measure applies to sanctioned persons already designated for malign activity outlined in executive orders and for those who facilitate Putin’s war efforts. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has a variety of tools to target these assets, both criminal and civil. The Graham-Whitehouse provision does not impact the tools DOJ has at its disposal to go after the assets of Russian oligarchs – it impacts what is done with those assets.