The U.S. Senate has supported an amendment to the omnibus 2023 federal spending bill that would enable seizing frozen Russian assets to help finance Ukraine’s defense against the Russian aggression, U.S. House Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) said in a Twitter post on Dec. 22.
According to the congressman, the House of Representatives now has to vote on the bill – as early as Dec. 22 – before it arrives at U.S. President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“This amendment would allow the Department of Justice, through the Secretary of State, to transfer proceeds from seized (Russian) oligarch’s assets or other sanctioned entities to the people of Ukraine,” U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who tabled the amendment, told CNN.
“It will be a godsend to the long-suffering people of Ukraine. It will be a relief to the American taxpayer…; it will be a bad day for oligarchs.”
On Dec. 21, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to Washington in his first trip abroad since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Zelenskyy met with U.S. President Joe Biden and delivered a speech to a joint U.S. Congress session, while the White House announced a $1.85 billion security assistance package for Ukraine – including a Patriot air defense battery.