May 8, 2024

Whitehouse Applauds EU Agreement to Use Russian Assets to Support Ukraine

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) cheered the European Union’s recently announced deal to use the interest accrued from Russian government assets to support Ukraine.  The agreement follows Whitehouse’s bipartisan REPO for Ukrainians Act becoming law last month as part of the national security supplemental.  The REPO for Ukrainians Act allows the President to seize the assets of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and other Russian sovereign assets that are frozen in the United States, and repurpose them for rebuilding Ukraine.

“Congress sent a strong, bipartisan message that we will do our part to ensure Ukraine’s victory against Putin’s illegal invasion.  My bipartisan REPO law allows the United States to seize and repurpose billions in frozen Russian government funds for Ukraine.  It’s a great start to see our European allies begin to repurpose frozen Russian assets in Europe as support for our Ukrainian allies,” said Whitehouse, who marshaled support for the concept at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year.  “I encourage the E.U. to unlock the full value of the hundreds of billions in underlying principal to further aid Kyiv.”

Whitehouse is one of the leading champions in the Senate for Ukrainian victory.  Shortly after the Russian invasion in 2022, Whitehouse partnered with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to establish the informal Ukraine Victory Caucus, and engaged in a colloquy on the Senate floor focused on the need for the U.S. and its allies to recognize that Ukrainian victory was possible. 

In addition to his REPO for Ukrainians Act, Whitehouse passed bipartisan legislation into law in late 2022 to allow the seizure of assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his corrupt oligarchs to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine.  The measure authorized the transfer of proceeds from the sale of forfeited assets – from persons subject to sanctions for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and related crimes – in order to provide foreign assistance to Ukraine.  Whitehouse had previously secured $67 million in the Ukraine supplemental appropriations bill for the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture program, an interagency law enforcement task force to enforce sanctions, export restrictions, and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed on Russia.

Whitehouse has also introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow the Department of Justice to seize high-value assets owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs more quickly through existing administrative forfeiture processes and transfer the proceeds from those assets to Ukraine.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921