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NYT: US may use legal mechanism to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

US President may use the 1977 Act to transfer frozen Russian reserves worth billions of dollars to Ukraine, according to the New York Times.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 24. FEBRUARY: Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden are discussing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Source: depositphotos https://ua.depositphotos.com/549932332/stock-photo-moscow-russia-february-russian-president.html
NYT: US may use legal mechanism to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine

US President Joe Biden may use the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) to transfer frozen Russian reserves to Ukraine, according to the New York Times.

This is the conclusion reached by Renew Democracy Initiative, a panel of experts led by Professor Lawrence H. Tribe. The mechanism of transferring frozen Russian assets to Ukraine was described in an 184-page report by the Renew Democracy Initiative, a non-partisan organization committed to identifying and combating threats to freedom in the US and worldwide.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the US and its Western allies have frozen about $300 billion in Russian central bank assets, under half of the Russian foreign currency and gold reserves, according to the New York Times.

“IEEPA plainly states that the president can ‘investigate,’ ‘block,’ ‘regulate,’ ‘direct and compel,’ ‘nullify,’ ‘void’ and ‘prevent or prohibit’” the conveyance of property from one entity to another. Those powers address conveyances of “any right, power or privilege’ with respect to property that a foreign country has an interest in and that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” the panel’s report said.

US presidents have turned to such practices before. For example, George W. Bush Jr. froze Iraqi assets in the US after Iraq invaded Kuwait. The US transferred those assets to a UN-established commission for victims of Saddam Hussein’s aggression.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, some experts argued that all Russian frozen assets should be transferred to Ukraine, “both as a matter of justice and as a deterrent against this kind of aggression” in the future, the New York Times stated.

“The Biden administration has compiled an honorable record of doing right by Ukraine — but generally comes around to it a bit late. Helping to defeat Russia with Russia’s own money is vital to that effort. The moral logic is compelling. The legal case is clear. And, as the bills add up, the political moment is now,” The New York Times noted.

American aid to Ukraine may soon reach $135 billion if US Congress approves Joe Biden’s request to allocate $24 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. According to the New York Times, Russia should pay for its aggression against Ukraine just like Ukrainian allies pay to help Ukraine repel the illegal Russian invasion.

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