A U.S. Senate committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would help set the stage for the United States to confiscate Russian assets and hand them over to Ukraine for rebuilding after the destruction of the nearly two-year-long war.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 20 to 1 in favor of the unprecedented “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act.”
If it were to pass the full Senate and House of Representatives and be signed into law by President Joe Biden, as expected, the act would pave the way for Washington’s first-ever seizure of central bank assets from a country with which it is not at war.
Senator Ben Cardin, the Democratic foreign relations committee chairman, was optimistic about the bill becoming law, noting that it has broad support, from both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House, as well as from Biden’s administration.
“Ukraine is on the verge of being overrun by Russia if we do not give them the help that they need… and we all know that it will not end with Ukraine,” he said, before the committee voted.
The one “no” vote on the panel came from Republican Senator Rand Paul. [Continue reading…]