US transfers seized Russian assets to Estonia — RT World News

This move allowed America to evade its own laws that prevent sending money to Ukraine

The US Department of Justice has turned over nearly $500,000 in seized Russian funds to Estonia, where it will be used to help repair Ukraine's power grid. The transfer was the first of its kind, and Estonia was used as an intermediary to circumvent US laws prohibiting direct donations to Ukraine.

The Justice Department said the money was used by a Latvian manufacturing and welding company to buy a mill from a Connecticut-based company in 2018, before a group of smugglers from Latvia and Ukraine tried to move it to Russia in violation of U.S. export restrictions. In a statement on Saturday.

The device – which can be exported to the EU but nowhere else because of it “Applications in the field of nuclear proliferation and defense programs” The ministry stated that the American and Latvian authorities intercepted it before it arrived in Russia. A Latvian man was arrested in 2022 and extradited to Connecticut, where he pleaded guilty to violating export controls last week.

At a joint press conference at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Estonian Secretary General Tonis Saar announced that the $484,696 used to purchase the device had been transferred to the Estonian government. They said Estonia would use the money to finance a drone-based program to assess damage to the Ukrainian electricity grid.

He added: “This transfer is the first of its kind from the United States to a foreign ally for the express purpose of assisting Ukraine.” The Ministry of Justice statement said. “The confiscated funds are being transferred to Estonia because, under the current authorities, the facts of this case do not allow them to be transferred directly to Ukraine.”

The United States had previously used $5.4 million in confiscated funds to fund a State Department program to support Ukrainian military veterans, but has not yet sent any confiscated Russian funds abroad.

The transfer of the frozen funds is considered separate from the use of the assets of the Russian Central Bank to finance the war efforts in Ukraine. Nearly $300 billion of the Bank of Russia's foreign currency reserves have been frozen in the West since 2022, and officials in Washington and Brussels have frozen them in the West. Pledge To seize this money and give it to Kiev. However, there are no legal mechanisms to do this at the moment.

Lev Mostri, CEO of Brussels-based clearing house Euroclear, warned this week that seizing these assets would undermine confidence in Western markets, while the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that any seizure would amount to a crime. “theft,” It will lead to “Too harsh” Reply from Moscow.

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