• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023


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Biden to ask Congress to enhance Russia sanctions enforcement, pass Ukraine aid

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to ask Congress for additional Ukraine aid and new Russia sanctions enforcement measures in remarks from the White House on Thursday morning.

The “comprehensive legislative package” is meant to strengthen U.S. authority to hold the Russian government and oligarchs accountable, the White House said.

“This package of proposals will establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools,” it said in a preview of the plan.

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The proposals aim to make it easier to seize oligarch assets, enable the transfer of money to Ukraine stemming from forfeited property and target property used to facilitate the evasion of sanctions. They also aim to improve the ability to work with international partners to recover assets linked to foreign corruption.

Biden is also expected to call on Congress to pass a new supplemental aid package for Ukraine. The funding is intended to last for the next five months, through the end of the fiscal year, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in congressional testimony earlier this week that lawmakers should expect a forthcoming supplemental funding request.

NBC News was first to report Wednesday that Biden would announce the new funding request Thursday. Administration officials had described the amount of the request as “massive” but didn’t provide a specific dollar amount. Some details were still not finalized, the officials said.

The amount, however, is intended to fund U.S. military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through Sept. 30, the officials said. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.