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U.S. Senators James Risch and Sheldon Whitehouse believe that significant financial assistance to Ukraine can be provided through assets seized from the Central Bank of Russia and other Russian sovereign assets. The senators propose adding a bill on Russian elites, proxies and oligarchs (REPO Act 2022), to the U.S. national defense bill for fiscal year 2023, the Voice of America reports.

Public records show that more than $300 billion in Russian assets have been frozen around the world. This is far more than the amount of all funds seized and confiscated from Russian oligarchs, said James Risch.

Given the uniqueness and brutality of Russia's blatant, illegal war in Ukraine, it is only right that these funds be confiscated and redirected to help Ukraine win this war and rebuild its country.

For his part, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse believes that the U.S. should make it clear to Vladimir Putin that if he continues his brutal invasion of Ukraine, there will be financial consequences in return.

This measure will send that message loud and clear, Whitehouse said.

Senators Risch and Whitehouse propose:

- give the U.S. president the authority to confiscate Russian sovereign assets frozen in the U.S;

- require financial institutions to report all Russian sovereign assets in their custody;

- create a fund to support Ukraine and require that any confiscated sovereign assets be placed in favor of Ukraine;

- give the U.S. Secretary of State authority to send confiscated funds to Ukraine;

- give the U.S. State Department's Office of Sanctions Coordination additional resources to work with partners and allies abroad to confiscate additional Russian sovereign assets in other countries.

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