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US transfers nearly $500,000 in forfeited Russian funds to Estonia for benefit of Ukraine

The US Department of Justice has transferred nearly $500,000 in forfeited Russian assets to Estonia, earmarked for the restoration of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
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US transfers nearly $500,000 in forfeited Russian funds to Estonia for benefit of Ukraine

In a groundbreaking move, the US Department of Justice announced the transfer of nearly $500,000 in forfeited Russian funds to Estonia for the purpose of aiding Ukraine. The announcement was made by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Estonian Secretary General Tõnis Saar at the Munich Security Conference.

The funds were confiscated following the dismantling of an illegal procurement network attempting to import a high-precision machine tool into Russia, which could be used in defense and nuclear proliferation sectors.

This transfer marks the first of its kind from the US to a foreign ally specifically for assisting Ukraine and the second time the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture has redirected confiscated Russian assets for Ukraine’s support.

Estonia will utilize the funds for a project to expedite damage assessments and repairs to the Ukrainian electrical system, which Russian forces have targeted.

Deputy Attorney General Monaco emphasized the commitment of the United States and Estonia to cut off President Putin’s access to Western technologies and to combat Russia’s ongoing aggression. Estonian Secretary General Saar highlighted the importance of effective prosecution of sanctioned crimes and the redirection of “illegal income to the victim, i.e., Ukraine.”

The funds stem from an investigation into the attempted smuggling of a dual-use export-controlled item to Russia, resulting in the forfeiture of $484,696. Multiple individuals and companies involved in the smuggling network have been charged, with Latvian national Vadims Ananics pleading guilty to violating US export laws.

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