The Russian Embassy in Washington on February 4 called the US decision to transfer the confiscated assets of Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeev to Ukraine as outright theft.
“A blatant precedent has been set. Using various legal tricks and manipulations, local authorities resorted to outright theft of other people’s property for the sake of opportunistic interests,” the diplomatic mission said.
In addition, the embassy noted that Washington’s policy devalues the basic principle of American society about the inviolability of private property. This decision also shows the bias of the judiciary. According to diplomats, “the American” Themis “turned out to be completely subordinated to the political will of the White House.”
As emphasized in the diplomatic mission, such actions undermine the investment climate in the United States. Foreign businessmen thus sent a signal that their assets are not protected by local laws, and they can be confiscated at any time under far-fetched pretexts, the embassy added.
On the eve of the head of the US Department of Justice Merrick Garland said that the United States for the first time used the sanctioned assets of the Russians to provide financial assistance to Kyiv. It is noted that more than $5 million was sent to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry from the bank account of an entrepreneur from the Russian Federation, Konstantin Malofeev. The businessman was twice sanctioned by the United States – in 2014 and 2022 for “actions aimed at undermining the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine.”
The day before, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal said that he had discussed with the Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis the restoration of the country. He noted that it is necessary to create a real mechanism that will make it possible to dispose of Russia’s frozen assets and direct these funds to the needs of Kyiv.
Prior to this, on January 27, Bloomberg learned that the European Union (EU) has legal grounds to temporarily use about €33.8 billion from the frozen assets of the Bank of Russia for transfer to Kyiv. At the same time, the G7 countries and the EU stated that there are no clear legal grounds for seizing the assets of Russian banks and redirecting money to Ukraine.
Back at the end of November last year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the creation of a fund from frozen Russian assets to allocate assistance to Ukraine. She noted that a total of €300 billion of reserves of the Central Bank of Russia and €19 billion of private funds of Russian businessmen are blocked.