Putin faces ultimate humiliation: White House plans to sell Russian yachts for Ukraine aid


Washington has unveiled a proposed legislative package that would allow its Government to sell assets seized from Russian oligarchs over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The proceeds from these lucrative sales would then go to military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The US and its European allies have have already frozen more than £24billion of assets held by wealthy individuals with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, such as yachts, helicopters, real estate and art.

Since the start of the war, more than a dozen yachts, worth around £2billion and belonging to Russian oligarchs, have been seized in several countries, with more expected to be seized.

Governments throughout the world are trying to pile pressure on those individuals in the hope it will translate into political pressure on Putin, potentially curtailing his power.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden asked Congress for £33billion (£26.5billion) to support Ukraine, in addition to the new legal tools to siphon assets from Russian oligarchs.

The huge funding request includes more than £16billion for weapons, ammunition and other military assistance.

There would also be £6.8billion in direct economic assistance to the government and £2.4billion in humanitarian and food security aid.

The US has so far ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine but both Washington and its European allies have supplied weapons to Kyiv such as drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft Stinger and anti-tank Javelin missiles.

Mr Biden said at the White House: “We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.

“The cost of this fight – it’s not cheap – but caving to aggression is going to be more costly.”

READ MORE: Horror in Ukraine as young British father killed by Russian army

Members of Congress from both political parties have been supportive of efforts to quickly help Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives had voted overwhelmingly to urge the Biden administration to to liquidate the seized assets to help Ukraine.

This includes provisions that would streamline the process for assets from oligarchs assets, expand the assets subject to seizure and clamp down on specific sanction evasion loopholes.


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