US lawmakers urge Biden to sell Russian yachts for Ukraine aid
The House on Wednesday passed a bill urging President Biden to sell frozen assets belonging to Russian oligarchs, including a fleet of multimillion-dollar luxury yachts, which have been seized by federal authorities.
Why is this important: The largely symbolic bill passed overwhelmingly 417 to 8, as US and European lawmakers grapple with how to allocate Russian assets frozen following the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine , reports the New York Times.
- More than a dozen yachts, worth around $2.5 billion, belonging to Russian oligarchs have been seized in several countries around the world since the start of the armed conflict.
- Authorities have seized Russian-owned yachts moored in Italy, France, Croatia, the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, Germany and Antigua and Barbuda.
What they say : “We would support legislation that would allow some of that money to go directly to Ukraine,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
- “Can we imagine returning all of Russia’s wealth – the yachts, the bank accounts, the villas, the planes – to Putin and his cronies while Ukraine is in shambles, while Ukrainians are burying their dead? Rep. Tom Malinowski (DN.J.) asked, according to the Times report.
- “We can’t imagine doing that. We won’t do that.”