The United States finalizes the legislative reform that allows it to sell the Russian yacht Tango, seized in Majorca Y owned by tycoon Viktor Vekselberg, one of the oligarchs closest to Vladimir Putin. The end of the operation is use the funds obtained from the transaction to send additional military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and prevent the yacht from ever returning to the hands of its owner, one of the richest men in Russia, with an estimated fortune that exceeds 9,000 million. Viktor Vekselberg owns the world’s leading aluminum companyhas interests in the oil industry and is one of the largest art collectors in the world.
According to information from New York Timesthe House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill on Wednesday that urged the president Joe Biden a sell frozen luxury assets of Russian oligarchs affected by sanctions and use the funds to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The legislation is not binding on the president, says the newspaper, but his approval by 417 to 8 reflected a desire shared by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill for the president to take a more aggressive stance, as the United States and European allies decide what to do with Russian assets seized in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The vote came a day after the Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in the Senate that the administration would ask Congress for greater authority to seize and liquidate Russian property. “We would support legislation that would allow some of that money to go directly to Ukraine,” Garland said.
The Senator Chuck Schumera New York Democrat and Majority Leader, is consulting with the Biden administration on the matter and would like to include a provision giving the president authority to sell seized Russian assets to send additional aid to Ukraine, a step Congress hopes will be considered in the coming days, a spokesman said.
The American newspaper notes that Garland’s words give bill supporters a boostwhich has faced a number of thorny legal issues in its attempts to find a way for the United States to transform seized assets into aid for Ukraine.
It is a unprecedented measure what would be a very significant expansion of presidential authority in sanctions on Russia, which would prevent these assets from languishing and eventually the US having to return them to Putin aides.
“Can we imagine”asked the Democratic representative Tom Malinowski in the House of Representatives, “return all of Russia’s wealth — the yachts, the bank accounts, the villas, the planes — to Putin and his cronies while the Ukraine lies in ruins, while the Ukrainians bury their dead? We can’t imagine doing that. We won’t do that.”said the promoter of the bill, along with Republican Joe Wilson.
On April 4, agents of the FBI and ofl Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the USA and the Civil Guard recorded in Palm the yacht ‘Tango’ of the Russian tycoon VIktor Vekselberg at the request of a letter rogatory from the United States received in the court of instruction 2 of Palma.
The yacht is linked to the magnate of the metal Victor Vekselberg, close to the Kremlin according to the sanctioned list of March 11 published by the United States. A order signed by Biden blocked that same day in the North American country the yacht docked in Palma, in addition to a private jet.
From the date of the seizure at the facilities of Shipyards of Majorca, USA assured at spanish authorities who takes care of the maintenance costs of the Russian megayacht Tangoabout 24,000 euros per day.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.