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[Economics] The US administration is facing difficulties in identifying and confiscating Russian assets


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The Wall Street Journal quoted sources as saying that the US administration is facing legal obstacles in its quest to confiscate hidden Russian assets and give them to Ukraine.




The newspaper added that US prosecutors recently issued subpoenas to disclose Russian assets hidden in the United States, and indicated that the subpoenas to disclose Russian assets hidden in America pave the way for the confiscation of real estate, cash accounts, and trust funds.

"Just locating the assets could require years of investigation," the newspaper quoted a US Justice Department official as saying.

These measures are part of a broad Western effort to force Russia to withdraw from Ukraine and find new sources of funding for the war and eventual reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

It is noteworthy that Western countries and the United States have frozen since last February more than 330 billion dollars of Russian assets, about 300 billion dollars of which are reserves held by the Russian Central Bank in foreign bank accounts. It also includes companies, bank accounts, trusts, yachts, aircraft, real estate and jewelry.

The US administration had asked Congress to pass legislation expanding its authority to seize Russian assets and creating a legal channel for the seized funds to be sent to Ukraine. The European Commission has also proposed similar legal changes.

The European Commission, Ukraine and the World Bank have estimated that the current cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine is $349 billion, and is likely to increase in the coming months. Western officials say that efforts to rebuild Ukraine could take generations.

To help cover these costs, the United States and its allies have launched what they call "Russian Elite and Proxies," a task force to track down assets they say represent ill-gotten gains that help prop up Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule.




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