U.S. attorney general OKs transfer of forfeited funds from Russia oligarch for use in Ukraine

Ukraine attorney general press conference with US attorney general
Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks about the prosecution of war crimes in Ukraine committed by Russian forces during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades.

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized the first transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine, he said on Wednesday.

The Justice Department last year charged Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with violating sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, saying he provided financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea.

At that time, Garland said, he also announced "the seizure of millions of dollars from an account at a U.S. financial institution traceable to Malofeyev’s sanctions violations."

In February, Garland said he authorized the transfer of that money for use in Ukraine.

"While this represents the United States’ first transfer of forfeited Russian funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine," Garland said, "it will not be the last,” he said in a statement.

Reporting By Paul Grant; editing by Jasper Ward and Doina Chiacu

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