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US approves first transfer of seized Russian oligarch funds to Ukraine

US approves first transfer of seized Russian oligarch funds to Ukraine

On 10 May, the US Justice Department announced that it had transferred millions of dollars in assets seized from a Russian oligarch for use in rebuilding Ukraine, marking the first such use of forfeited funds arising from sanctions violations, The New York Times reported.

US attorney general allows first transfer of Russian oligarch’s confiscated assets to Ukraine

The Justice Department transferred the assets under a provision of a law enacted in late 2022 that authorized it to send certain forfeited assets to the US State Department to be spent on remediating damage from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

These assets were originally obtained from a US financial institution after an investigation traced them to sanctions evasion by Konstantin Malofeyev, a Russian oligarch who supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2014, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Mr. Malofeyev for financing the Russian promotion of separatism in the Crimean Peninsula and Donetsk, Ukraine’s regions currently occupied by Russia.

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