Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to seize the US-based yachts, art possessions and mansions of Russia’s oligarchs — and give the money to relief for Ukraine.
“These oligarchs, loyal to Putin, are extremely wealthy and bought these types of assets, which are here in the United States,” Schumer said Sunday at a press conference in Manhattan. “There’s no reason Putin’s viciousness and these ill-gotten gains should just stay where they are when there is a desperate need for relief.”
Schumer said his plan would give the federal government the power to liquidate foreign assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs and donate that money.
The assets include things such as yachts, helicopters, real estate and artwork and are worth billions of dollars, he said.
“This is the kind of stuff we’re talking about: yachts, mansions,” he said. “You may ask, ‘Are any of these assets in New York?’ Obviously, a whole bunch are.”
The proposal will be tacked onto the vote on a $33 billion Ukrainian aid package that Schumer hopes Congress will pass this month to provide “security” and humanitarian support for the war-ravaged nation.
President Biden requested the funds from Congress on Thursday, warning the $13.6 billion the US has already provided is “almost exhausted.
“Basically, we’re out of money,” Biden said at the White House. “It’s not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.”
Additional reporting by David Meyer