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The United States should seize and sell the yachts, mansions, and other assets of Russian oligarchs, then send the proceeds to Ukraine, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Sunday.
“I will be adding provisions that allow us to go after the oligarchs, take their money, and send it right to Ukraine,” Schumer said, referring to provisions that he plans to add to a $33 billion aid package requested by the Biden administration this week.
“There’s no reason that Putin’s viciousness and these ill-gotten gains should just stay the way they are when Ukraine desperately needs the money,” he added.
President Biden asked Congress on Friday to authorize $33 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, more than double the $13.6 billion package that Congress approved in early March.
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The Justice Department launched Task Force KleptoCapture to go after Russian oligarchs’ wealth in March.
Investigators worked with Spanish authorities to seize the 225-foot, $90 million luxury yacht Tango from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg last month.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that he is “grateful to the American people” for the continued support with the proposed $33 billion aid package.
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“President Biden rightly said today that this step is not cheap,” Zelenskyy said.
“But the negative consequences for the whole world from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and against democracy are so massive that by comparison the U.S. support is necessary.”
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The provisions that Schumer said he will add to the aid package will also streamline the forfeiture process and make it a federal crime to possess proceeds gained through “corrupt dealings with the Russian government.”