The European Commission is proposing to create a new structure to manage frozen and immobilized public Russian assets, invest them and use the proceeds for Ukraine.
The announcement includes measures to ensure accountability for war crimes. Russia does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This means that the crime of aggression committed by political and military leadership cannot be prosecuted by the ICC.
“Russia must pay for its horrific crimes. We will work with the ICC and help set up a specialized court to try Russia’s crimes. With our partners, we will make sure that Russia pays for the devastation it caused, with the frozen funds of oligarchs and assets of its central bank,” said EC President Ursala von der Leyen in announcing the scheme.
A similar bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 3838: The Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, was introduced in March by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island). While the House version passed in April, the Senate version has languished. The bill does not suggest that those whose assets are seized must be linked to or convicted of a crime. The Biden administration shall “determine the constitutional mechanisms through which the President can take steps to seize and confiscate assets under the jurisdiction of the United States” of any foreign person on whom the president has imposed sanctions due to their links to Putin’s regime. That pesky Fourth Amendment…
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