Jun 25 2024

Graham, Manchin, Members of Congress Push for Floor Vote on Transferring Illicit Assets to Ukraine Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Joe Manchin (I-West Virginia) and U.S. Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-Pennsylvania), Bill Keating (D-Massachusetts) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) urged Congressional leaders to bring their bipartisan, bicameral Transferring Illicit Assets to Ukraine Act to the Senate and House floors.

This legislation would expand the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) authority to transfer to Ukraine the proceeds of Russian assets forfeited due to sanctions or export control violations. This simple legislative fix would cost nothing for U.S. taxpayers as we continue to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.

The lawmakers wrote, “DOJ has seized hundreds of millions of dollars of illicit assets that can be immediately transferred to Ukraine if authorized by Congress. This authority is distinct from – but would complement – the agreement struck by G7 leaders to use Russia’s sovereign assets as collateral for assistance to Ukraine. As Vladimir Putin intensifies his illegal invasion, we must use every available tool – particularly those with no cost to U.S. taxpayers – to support our Ukrainian allies.”

They continued, “Supporting Ukraine is the best investment to preserve the rules-based international order Americans fought and died to create. We strongly supported providing additional military aid for Ukraine as well as the REPO for Ukrainians Act, which is already being implemented. Now, Congress must also provide simple clarification that seized Russian oligarch assets may also be transferred to Ukraine.”

Full text of the letter is HERE.

The Transferring Illicit Assets to Ukraine Act would:

  • Allow the DOJ to transfer to Ukraine the proceeds of assets forfeited from violations of any sanction or export control involving Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (including the 2014 invasion of Crimea);
  • Require a report from the Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State outlining a plan for using this new authority; and
  • Require semiannual reports from these same entities on the use of this authority for the benefit of Ukraine.

The original Senate version of this legislation passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2024 as an amendment to the REPO for Ukrainians Act and is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rick Scott (R-Florida), James Risch (R-Idaho) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware).