After a lengthy political stalemate in the US, which delayed critical military aid to Ukraine and emboldened the Kremlin to intensify its destruction of Ukraine, the US Congress adopted and, on April 24, 2024, the President of the United States signed into law the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, also known as the REPO for Ukrainians Act.

This Act unequivocally states that “The Russian Federation bears international legal responsibility for its aggression against Ukraine and, under international law, must cease its internationally wrongful acts. Because of this breach of the prohibition on aggression under international law, the United States is legally entitled to take countermeasures that are proportionate and aimed at inducing the Russian Federation to comply with its international obligations.”


The proportionate countermeasures envisaged by the REPO for Ukrainians Act include the seizure, confiscation and transfer to Ukraine of Russia’s sovereign assets abroad that have been frozen by US authorities in response to Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine.

The total amount of Russia’s sovereign assets frozen worldwide is about $300 billion.  Between $4 and $5 billion of those assets are subject to the jurisdiction of the US.

The REPO for Ukrainians Act also stipulates that to seize, confiscate and transfer to Ukraine any of Russia’s frozen assets under US jurisdiction, the US President must first submit a certification to the appropriate congressional committee specifying that “the President has meaningfully coordinated with G7 leaders to take multilateral action with regard to any seizure, confiscation, vesting, or transfer of Russian sovereign assets for the benefit of Ukraine.”

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How the strengthening of the right-wing camp in the EU Parliament will effect support for Ukraine is still unclear, as this is yet another issue on which the corresponding parties are divided.

The 50th G7 Summit, which will be held in Italy from June 13 to 15, 2024, provides the US President the opportunity to meaningfully coordinate with other G7 leaders’ appropriate multilateral actions to seize, confiscate and transfer to Ukraine Russia’s sovereign frozen assets abroad.


The US President must now take this opportunity to ensure that the purpose of the REPO for Ukrainians Act is thoroughly fulfilled by inducing Russia to stop its all-out war against Ukraine and ensuring that Russia fully compensates Ukraine for the tremendous damage it has caused.  To do this, the West must seize, confiscate and transfer to Ukraine – not only the profits generated by Russia’s sovereign assets frozen worldwide – but the actual assets themselves.

The Government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, the European Commission and the United Nations assessed at the end of 2023 Ukraine’s total cost of reconstruction and recovery over the next decade at $486 billion.

A firm announcement during the G7 Summit that a coordinated plan will be implemented shortly to seize, confiscate and transfer Russia’s sovereign assets frozen worldwide, and not only the profits that they generate, would provide significant momentum to the Summit for Peace in Ukraine that immediately follows the G7 Summit and will be held in Switzerland on June 15-16, 2024.


It will also send a clear signal to Russia that it cannot continue to destroy Ukraine with impunity and that Russia will be held accountable for its highly devastating actions in Ukraine.

Ultimately, the seizure, confiscation and transfer to Ukraine of Russia’s sovereign assets frozen worldwide will lessen the financial burden facing the West, including the US, in the rebuilding of Ukraine.

Eugene Czolij, a lawyer, is President of the NGO “Ukraine-2050,” Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Montreal, and former Ukrainian World Congress President (2008-2018).

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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