In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its partners and allies have frozen an estimated $350 billion in Russian reserves held abroad. Members of Congress – including members of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) – and experts have advocated for governments to confiscate and repurpose these funds to support Ukraine’s defense and reconstruction.
Most recently, CSCE Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02), Ranking Member Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (MS) were joined by Commissioners Representative Marc Veasey (TX-33), Representative Michael Lawler (NY-17), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) in co-sponsoring the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act in the House and Senate. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation, which would authorize the Secretary of State to provide assistance to Ukraine using confiscated Russian assets, was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and currently awaits votes in the House and Senate.
This hearing will explore proposals to repurpose these Russian funds and how best they could be used to support Ukraine’s self-defense and rebuilding efforts. Experts will address the potential financial and economic consequences of doing so and the permissibility of this approach under international law.