US Attorney General Merrick Garland authorised the first transfer of confiscated Russian assets to Ukraine for reconstruction purposes.
The money in question was taken from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev by a US court after he was accused of avoiding sanctions. According to a budget amendment passed in December 2022, they may be transferred to Ukraine.
“While this represents the United States’ first transfer of forfeited Russian funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine, it will not be the last,” Garland stated in the statement.
The Manhattan Federal Court District Judge granted permission to the prosecutor’s office in February 2023 to seize US$5.4 million that belonged to Malofeyev.
Malofeyev, the owner of Tsargrad TV, was sanctioned by the US in 2014 after he was alleged to have supported separatists in Crimea. US prosecutors charged him with evading sanctions eight years later.
Prosecutors informed the court towards the end of 2022 that they had the legal authority to seize the funds in Malofeyev’s Sunflower Bank account in Denver because he had attempted to transfer them to a business partner in defiance of US sanctions.