March 9, 2022

Whitehouse Cheers Funding Measure’s Asset Recovery Initiative Team & Boost for Sanctions Enforcement against Putin and His Oligarchs

Leader of Munich Security Conference CODEL fought for better coordination of DOJ asset seizure efforts and enhanced FinCEN funding to enforce Russian sanctions. Supplemental funding delivers on Munich CODEL’s commitment to ‘assure that the dictator Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay a devastating price for their decisions’

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) applauded new emergency supplemental appropriations legislation included in the omnibus spending bill released early this morning, which includes provisions championed by Whitehouse to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs accountable for their attack on a peaceful Ukraine.

“This legislation will make sure Putin and his oligarchs pay an enormous price for their assault against the people of Ukraine,” said Whitehouse. “The bill includes funding I proposed for a Department of Justice initiative to target assets of sanctioned oligarchs around the globe. That coordinated enforcement will help to pinpoint and seize oligarchs’ yachts, private jets, and other high-priced luxury items, applying ever greater pressure on Putin and his cronies. I am also pleased we’ve secured additional funding to boost Treasury’s sanctions enforcement work, including FinCEN’s critical contribution to that work. That’s something I fought for. And I’m thrilled we delivered on the bipartisan commitment Senator Graham and I helped to forge at the Munich Security Conference to ‘assure that the dictator Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay a devastating price for their decisions.’ This bill achieves our bipartisan goal.”

The measure includes $43.6 million for the Department of Justice to pursue a number of priorities, including action against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs by establishing a dedicated Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative Team tasked with cracking down on violations of Russian sanctions and facilitating asset seizure.

The bill also provides $61 million for the Treasury Department, including $19 million for Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), to analyze Russian economic vulnerabilities, better target and enforce sanctions, and direct Russian policy and financial measures as Treasury implements its most ambitious program of economic sanctions to date. These resources will also monitor the impact of sanctions on the economy in coordination with financial institutions and financial markets here and abroad.

In February, Whitehouse and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) led a delegation of more than two dozen members of Congress to the Munich Security Conference, the world’s major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Whitehouse is also a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission).

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