DOJ: Confiscated Russian funds will support Ukraine — via Estonia

Last updated on February 17, 2024

The U.S. will transfer confiscated Russian funds to Estonia to be used in support of Ukraine, the Justice Department announced Saturday.

The nearly $500,000 sum was secured from “an illegal procurement network attempting to import into Russia a high-precision, U.S.-origin machine tool with uses in the defense and nuclear proliferation sectors,” according to a
DOJ press release

It is the first time the U.S. will transfer funds to a foreign ally for the explicit purpose of assisting Ukraine and comes as foreign aid for the embattled nation has stalled in Congress.

The funds are being transferred to Estonia because current authorities do not allow for a direct transfer to Ukraine. According to deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco, the funds will be used for a project designed to streamline damage assessments of Ukraine’s electrical transmission and distribution systems.

“This is an incremental step toward justice and restoration. But it is a necessary step. And it blazes a new trail towards combatting Russia’s ongoing brutality,” said Monaco in
remarks prepared for delivery at the Munich Security Conference
in Germany.

“The Department of Justice will continue pursuing creative solutions to ensure the Ukrainian people can respond and rebuild. Dollar by dollar. House by house. Town by town,” Monaco added, noting that the administration would not wait for Congress, but rather would use existing authorities to provide assistance to Ukraine.