Russia May Seize American Citizens’ Assets

( – Russian government spokesperson Dmitry Medvedev said his country will respond to plans to seize Russian assets by doing the same to American citizens. The House of Representatives passed legislation permitting the Biden administration to seize Russian assets in American banks and transfer them to the Ukrainian government to aid its war effort.

The Russian government said such a move is illegal and will provoke retaliation in the form of “foreclosure on the property of private individuals located in the jurisdiction of Russia.”

Medvedev described the situation as “complex” because it involved interference with property rights, but he noted that the “unexpected happened” and the United States “declared a hybrid war” on the Kremlin. He acknowledged that Russian law would need to change to enact the retaliatory plans.

Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of Russia’s Central Bank, added that Russia will defend its interests if the US pursues the asset seizure policy.

The House of Representatives passed the REPO Act, allowing the federal government to distribute around $6 billion to Ukraine’s war chest. Since the conflict’s outbreak in 2022, Western countries have frozen $300 billion, but most of this is held in banks in Germany, Belgium, and France.

Experts say that Russia was caught off-guard and surprised by the proposals, and economists are warning that asset seizure will have a negative impact on future investment in the United States. Some have furthermore warned that the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency could be threatened.

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said that regardless of potential damage to America’s reputation, he did not “want criminals investing in American Treasury bonds.”

The REPO Act passed as the House approved a $95 billion aid bill, including $61 billion for Ukraine. The bill was a lifeline for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after months of Congressional deadlock and complaints from Kyiv that it did not have the weapons to defend itself from targeted Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

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