Putin authorizes retaliatory seizure of US assets

Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorized the seizure of US assets to "compensate for damage" caused to the Russian state and the Central Bank "in connection with unfriendly actions" by Washington, according to the decree was signed on Thursday, 23 May.

According to the decree, the government and the Bank of Russia have the right to seek legal action if they are "unreasonably" deprived of their property rights by decisions of American authorities or courts. Subsequently, a Russian court may decide on compensating the damage, meaning that the US property would be seized and transferred to Russian proprietors.

The list of properties subject to seizure from the US government or its citizens includes securities, shares in the authorized capital of Russian companies, movable and immovable property, as well as property rights.

Putin has instructed the Russian government to introduce the necessary legislative changes within four months.

During a visit to Kyiv in May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the government plans to confiscate Russian assets in US banks to aid Ukraine in defending itself against Russian military aggression. According to a US Senate representative, Russian assets worth $5 billion are frozen in American banks. Worldwide, these assets total around $300 billion, with the majority – about €200 billion – frozen within the EU. These measures were taken in response to Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.

The Russian government views any seizure of Russian funds, including the proceeds from them, as expropriation with ensuing consequences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on 22 May.

  War in Ukraine, Russia